General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has said the outcome of the first meeting aimed at disbanding political vigilante groups, did not yield the desired outcomes.
Speaking to Kwabena Agyapong on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the chief scribe said the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has still not agreed to the terms to have other mediators join the discussions aside the Peace Council.
He is also claiming that there were surprises that came up at the first meeting.
He said the parties agreed to have used the first meeting as an avenue to set out the modalities for the meeting.
Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said although some progress was achieved at Tuesday’s meeting, the NDC had expected more.
The talks was mediated by the National Peace Council in Accra and was in response to a directive by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the two parties.
The President urged the parties to expressly disband all groups affiliated to them, or he will be compelled to initiate a legislation to disband these groups to which he has directed the Attorney General to draft a bill and present it before Parliament for consideration after the deadline given the parties to meet failed.
The President’s directive came on the back of the violence that characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in February.
Me Nketiah said the umbrella party went into the talks hoping that the NPP had accepted to involve multiple stakeholders in the militia disbandment process, but that was not the case.
He made reference to letter the NDC received from the NDC on the matter and quoted saying:
“We have also taken notice of your request to expand the scope of the engagement to include multiple stakeholders and wish to assure you that the NPP avails itself for this consideration at the meeting which will afford the two parties the opportunity to agree on the various stakeholders to be invited in the subsequent engagements.”
The letter from the NPP dayed March 15, 2019 also started that “the NPP has shifted its position from the dual party engagement to consideration for multiple stakeholder engagement,” but that was not the case when we went for our first meeting, he added.
The NPP, he said held its ground on limiting the deliberations to the two main parties, a position we disagreed with.
Meanwhile, in a communique issued after the meeting, the National Peace Council said both parties have agreed to engage in deliberations.
The parties are expected to convey another meeting on the 29th of this month.
High-powered delegations from both parties participated in the closed-door meeting, which was chaired by Nana Dr S. K. B. Asante, a member of the NPC and Omanhene of the Asokore Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region.
The delegation from the NPP was led by its National Chairman, Mr Freddie Blay, and included kingpins of the party such as the General Secretary, Mr John Boadu; the National Organiser, Mr Sammy Awuku; the Minister for Regional Re-organisation and Development, Mr Dan Botwe; the Communications Director, Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, and a member of the communications team, Mr Gary Nimako.
The NDC delegation was led by the National Chairman of the party, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, with the General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, as his able lieutenant.
Other members were a former Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Bani; a former National Security Minister, Mr Kofi Totobi Kwakye; as well as the party’s lawyers, Mr Abraham Amaliba and Nana Ato Dadzie.
Among notable members of the NPC at the meeting were the Presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of the Action Chapel International, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-William, and a former National Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah.