The Great Security Buildup: From Kandahar To Al-Qaeda

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Political power in Ghana under the Fourth Republic has become something else in our country. It is entrapped with so many juicy offers that many hitherto enviable professionals are falling over one another to either become politicians, or are ready to do everything under the sun to ensure that they catch the eye of politicians. No doubt pastors and traditional leaders are today joining the political bandwagon with the speed of lightning.

It is this craze to grab political power that pushes aspiring politicians to do the ‘unthinkable’ during election years. Apart from campaigning to the electorate, almost every politician is ready to cut corners to achieve the ultimate.

Interestingly, one area that politicians have not taken lightly since the inception of the Fourth Republic is the security of ballot boxes and election materials.

In fact, so serious is the issue of security in elections that almost every political party that lost elections in the past two decades have blamed its defeat on poor policing of the ballot at the polling station. It is therefore not surprising that both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic Congress are putting premium on security ahead of the 2020 elections and sharpening their arsenals by recruiting several vigilante groups.

While the NPP can boast of its Invincible Forces, Delta Forces, Bolga Bulldogs, Volta Crocodiles, and so on, the NDC is oiling its war machinery by churning out its Azorka Boys, Hawks, Eagles, Lions, Dragons, etc.

What is becoming alarming to political observers is the names of some of these vigilantes groups. Ahead of the 2016 elections, the NPP came out with the Kandahar Boys and just last week, media reports say the NDC has also formed the Al-Qaeda Boys.

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According to recent history, the Kandahar Movement was one of the toughest resistance groups that faced off with the US/Allied Forces during the invasion of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the early 90s. Similarly, Al-Qaeda was the dreaded force that gave the same level of resistance to US forces in both Iraq and Pakistan. As to why these names are taking centre stage of our political discourse in Ghana today is not clear. What is clear, however, is that the two groups have started attacking the leadership of their own parties in the northern parts of the country. This year alone, the Kandahar Boys were reported to have chased government appointees out of some districts and also vandalized a number of NPP offices. In much the same vein, the Al-Qaeda Boys recently visited mayhem on the NDC Northern Regional secretary and treasurer.

THE PUBLISHER finds it worrying that, even though both parties have seen that their actions are gradually dragging the country towards the brink of civil war, none of them is in a hurry to disarm of disband any of the ‘units’ anytime soon.

The paper wishes to call on the National Security Coordinator and Inspector-General of Police to investigate the activities of the two leading parties in the country and do all in their power to tackle the menace, which is alien to politics in Ghana.

In our view, military force can also be invoked, as a matter of urgency, to uproot vigilantism in our body polity, just as is being waged against galamsay.

A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.

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