It is hooliganism, not vigilantism! Hooliganism is violent, rowdy or destructive behavior by young troublemakers, typically in a gang. Their actions border on criminal trespass, assault, damage to property and against public order. A vigilante is a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.
So when the about 200 New Patriotic P Invisible Forces members stormed the Golden Jubilee Terminal of the Tema Port to demand security jobs by causing trouble or when several dozens of the Delta Forces trespass onto local authority offices and even the courts to do the unthinkable, they are not engaged in vigilantism but the lawless impunity called hooliganism.
When a government sacks a regional minister after lawless NDC party youth march to his office, seize and set aflame tender documents alleging among others that contracts are not being awarded to party people, that is a government of officers breaking the sacred office oath to enforce law and order.
Some twenty plus separate acts of pure lawlessness this year has been attributed to the two groups who have even at a time been bold enough to issue threats to President Nana Akufo Addo that a situation similar or worse than what transpired in Kumasi will become the norm if they were not given promised jobs for their roles in ensuring the party’s electoral victory in December 2016. The party openly admits these are its members and is proud to tell citizens they provided crucial security protection for its offices and leaders while it was in opposition because the state didn’t help when it needed security cover.
Key party officers support them and are against the strict application of the law against them. When a party chairman who is no ordinary lawyer justifies the lawless acts as acts in exercise of citizens constitutional duty to protect and preserve public property, you know a consummate professional of an Attorney-General who is determined to enforce the law has a very difficult job just as an Interior Minister who professes commitment to do same.
I don’t believe and cannot imagine that party or government officers sponsor the criminal thuggery, but their reaction and inaction continue to embolden them and leaves me in no doubt they are to blame. I doubt they have thought about the image these actions leave on the President home and abroad.
I have one simple proposal as part of my contribution for getting rid of these hooligans, and I dare party and government officials to adopt the approach if they are sincere about their claims of abhorrence for the clear present and future danger they promote against citizens in the long run.
I am a lawyer. I lose my license to practice or my name is erased completely from the roll of lawyers when I misconduct myself or get convicted of a crime bordering on dishonesty. The NDC and NPP have suspended or sacked members including very important members for acts they claim brought the name of the party into disrepute.
In most of the cases, these members only spoke or condemned some ill or revealed a dirty secret; they did not engage in the shameful criminal acts of hooliganism and vandalism. Discipline these lawless members by yourselves and see if you will not embolden police and other relevant state actors to strictly enforce the law when they misbehave.
Dear Patriotic Citizen, the politicians have demonstrated over the years that they cannot be trusted to nib this dangerously ugly sub-culture in the bud unless we insist by various means including oughtright united condemnations, petitions, lawful demonstrations and by making this issue one to determine how we vote.
Samson Lardy ANYENINI
November 6, 2017.