Truly! Truly!! Vigilantism is not a bad activity as many people may want to ‘put it.’ The idea of setting up a vigilante group is primarily to provide assistance in protect and safeguard communities across the country.
Most at times, this group of committed individuals operate at night with an aim of checking, and [possibly] reducing criminal activities.
In some communities and/or villages, vigilante groups receive support and backing from resourceful persons, Chiefs and Elders, Opinion leaders and the inhabitants at large to carry out their duties.
To paraphrase the motives of Rule of Law as coined by Professor A.V Dicey, “It simply means that, rulers of a nation must rule in accordance with the laws of the constitution and not as they think fit. The idea of it is to task government officials to act within limits imposed by the law.” Professor A.V. Dicey believes that, when the concept is applied freedom would be maintained, while oppression will be prevented.
Comparing activities vigilantism to rule of law seems ironical in our present style of governance, since the laws hardly frown on the former. Unfortunately, vigilantism now operates from the ideologies of politicsm with a strong backing from influential persons in the political space.
Apparently, political vigilantism aims at defending activities of political parties from external forces which is likely to mar their affairs.
A visit to the various regions in this country will witness the existence of pro political groups such as Delta and Invincible Forces (N.P.P.), Ashanti N.D.C. Hawks, Bolga Bulldogs (N.P.P.) and Azorka Boys (N.D.C). These groups are financed by their political parties in this country.
Little do we know that, the emergence of such groups have a negative impact to the country’s development. Fear and panic becomes the order of the day. Violence in the society becomes a normal thing, and peace and unity becomes hard to attain. Interestingly, members of these political groups are usually promised jobs and huge sums of money.
Some few weeks ago, a purported N.P.P. vigilante group called Delta Force disrupted an ongoing Town Hall meeting between Hon. Akoto Osei and his constituents at Tafo-Pankrono in the Ashanti Region. But, for the intervention of the Police, there would have been bloodshed per their agitations, promises made by the Legislator in the run to elections has since not been fulfilled.
In a radio interview with Vim Lady on Adom FM’s burning issues after the incidence, leader of Delta Force expressed disappointment over the inability of government to push them into the Military, Navy and Police service even without the requisite qualification. Frankly speaking, this idea of pushing unqualified persons into the security service is a threat which should not be encouraged.
There are more instances of how vigilante groups destroy the stability of development as a result of political support and if care is not taken, the country will be at risk of political violence.
Written by: Nambe Patrick
Ghana Institute of Journalism
Level 300 JN