Vigilante Groups: Breeding lawlessness for the future

Ghana has been hailed as a beacon of democracy in Africa. Having conducted several elections 'peacefully' and transitioned smoothly between governments, Ghana has really set a pace for the rest of West Africa in democracy. However, this pace may soon close and even be overtaken by other countries if the issue of vigilante groups is not addressed timely.

Vigilante groups in Ghana are creations of political parties. Political parties in opposition often

lose trust in national security institutions because they believe the security agencies are doing the bidding of the party in power. They will therefore not want to have anything doing with these "compromised" institutions, especially when it comes to party security. These groups are then formed to serve their own security needs.

These groups often consist of unemployed youth who have no educational qualification. They believe their party can help them secure jobs when they win power. However, these guys are often disappointed for lack of qualifications. They then tend to vent their anger on people with requisite qualifications who have been chosen to positions they hitherto thought were reserved for their members.

The political parties, upon winning power, find it difficult to disband these vigilante groups. They then become a threat, not only to their party but to other innocent citizens as well. Any political appointments including security decisions without their consent are greeted with violent acts of vandalism. These uneducated guys feel they have enough experience to advise the government on security issues.

If we continue to practice our democracy with this vigilante group madness we will soon reap the fruits thereof; terrorism. There are countless examples we can learn from. Nigeria, Somalia, Egypt, etc. easily come to mind. If we pretend that nothing is wrong with these groups now because they serve our political interests, we should not cry when peace eludes us in the near future.

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