Ghana's political parties
Ghana's political parties

Election watchers, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) Friday began nationwide engagements on political party vigilantism in the country.

This follows the recognition of the dangers that political party vigilante groups pose to the country’s electoral politics and democratic development.

A statement released here signed by Albert Arhin, National Coordinator for CODEO said the engagements, which will be held in all ten regional capitals, will take the form of round table discussions, focus group discussion, and special briefings with the media.

The public discourse Arhin says is expected to bring together all relevant stakeholders, particularly the security agencies, political parties, peace promotion institutions, and civil society, among others, to address this growing menace in the country’s democracy.

The statement further observes the engagements will be used as an avenue to stimulate and sustain discussions on the menacing effects of vigilante group activities in the politics of Ghana.

The partner institutions are also expected to use the outcomes of the engagements to conduct civic and voter education against the phenomenon, as well as advocacy to disband party vigilantism in Ghana’s electoral politics.

Some of the interventions expected from these public engagements, according to the domestic election observers include the development of a comprehensive advocacy policy recommendation for all stakeholders to implement and a campaign to end vigilantism, among others.

Political vigilantism has become a subject of worry to many as groups such as ‘Delta Force’, ‘Bolga Bulldogs’, ‘Azorka boys’, among several others have been associated with the two leading parties –the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The activities of such vigilante groups especially, after a change in government under the country’s Fourth Republican dispensation has often posed a threat to national security.

CODEO, a coalition dedicated to promoting free, fair, transparent and credible elections through nonpartisan election observation, is made up of 42 professional, faith-based and civil society organizations.

It has been independently and credibly observing elections in Ghana since 2000. CODEO’s post-election activities are made possible with the generous support of the United States Agency for International (USAID). Enditem

Source:Francis Tandoh,