The Ghana Police Service has served notice to strike with full force against land guards and vigilante groups in the country whose activities are threatening the peace of the citizenry.
Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu, warned Thursday that the Police will deal decisively with land guards and vigilante groups without fear or favour in a bid to end their wanton bullying.
“Let me stress for the purpose of emphasis, any act of land guards and people calling themselves vigilantes that will infringe upon the laws of the land shall be met with the full might of the Police,” Mr. Asante-Apeatu said.
At the launch of Christmas Operation by the Police, the IGP assured the people of Ghana the Police will stop at nothing in ensuring law and order in the country, hence the Service is determined to clamp down on vigilantism and land guards with high degree of impartiality.
Vigilantism, particularly political vigilantism, has gained notoriety as the two main political parties in the country – NDC and NPP – have at least two of such groups which they use as private security during electoral activities.
In the last year, some of these groups have launched brazen attacks on some key government establishments and persons including Members of Parliament, which sparked calls for them to be disbanded.
Land guards have on the other hand been terrorizing land owners, particularly in Accra and other major cities. Some land guard attacks have resulted in the maiming and killing of some owners and artisanal workers.
Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul have had cause to charge the military to work with the Police to stop the activities of land guards which he said were threatening the peace, security and development of the nation.
“I do not have to recount how innocent citizens have either been maimed or brutally murdered by some of these Land guards,” he told soldiers in Sunyani November during Inter-Services shooting competition by the Ghana Armed Forces.
These issues, Mr. Asante-Apeatu said should not be allowed to fester hence warned those engaged in such unlawful activities to cease of face their wrath.
He also issued a stern warning to criminals who take advantage of the Christmas festivities to rethink their decisions, adding the Police will not relax in their effort to provide security for citizens during the festive season.
“Simply put, I am sounding a word of warning to all potential criminals, repent or you cup will soon be full,” he stated.
The IGP said more personnel will be deployed in the markets, shops, and event centres among other places to ensure an incident free yuletide.