The decision over whether or not to disband vigilante groups in the country is now a source of confusion within the top echelon of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Whereas Joseph Yammin, who is regarded as the godfather of the leading vigilante group- the militant-posturing Hawks- has vowed that the NDC will not disband the groups, the top executives of the party have dissociated themselves from his position.
Being a leading member of the party, his remarks, of course, represent the position of the party.
“The Hawks is a recognized taskforce in the NDC party. They perform the roles like members of the party and provide security for the party,” he said.
His declaration, “NDC Will Not Disband Hawks Today, Tomorrow or Ever” on a Kumasi-based radio station, did not help the already dented image of the NDC, hence the ostensible dissociation.
Even before the ink dried on Yammin’s brusqueness, the NDC leadership has come out to dissociate itself from his position.
According to a statement on the subject, the NDC has taken a strong view on Yammin’s posture concerning the disbandment of vigilante groups in the country.
He has reportedly been summoned to Accra to respond to queries pertaining to his “NDC Will Not Disband Vigilantes Today, Tomorrow or Ever” declaration.
Loud & Clear
“The National Democratic Congress has taken notice of several media publications attributed to a member of the party, Mr. Joseph Yammin. The Functional Executive Committee of the NDC wishes to state unequivocally that the above statement does not in any way represent the views and/ or position of the party. The party wishes to reiterate its unwavering commitment to the process of disbanding all political vigilante or party militia groups in the country,” NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia said in the statement.
Interestingly, this is the first time that the NDC is openly saying it’s committed to the disbandment of vigilante groups in the country.
When Yammin obliges the summons of the party’s Functional Executive Committee, he might do two things: shut up and disband the vigilante group or stand his ground and continue to sustain his Hawks who he sponsors anyway.
Mr. Yammin has fled from his position even before the dust settles.
He reportedly told a radio station in Kumasi yesterday that “the party has summoned me for a meeting over false allegations that I have said the NDC will not disband the Hawks.”
Denying what he said earlier which was recorded is another segment of the confusion which has afflicted the party.
“I did not make that comment so I am wrongly being accused. I will do whatever in my power to defend myself and clear my name,” he declared.
Continuing, he said: “I said the Hawks is not a vigilante group therefore they cannot be part of the vigilante groups that are to be disbanded in the state.”
It sounds absurd that Yammin did not deny the story as carried by the media until his party’s Functional Executive Committee summoned him to Accra.
Some observers think that considering the revolutionary antecedents of the NDC, which ex-President John Mahama is not shy of touting, the disbandment of vigilante groups is a public showing and PR stunt of a sort.
Openly disagreeing with Yammin could be a ruse anyway, because the party has suffered major PR bruises through the leaked Ofosu-Ampofo audio.
By A.R. Gomda