Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday September 05, 2018
It’s becoming clear that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is busily forming vigilante groups for the 2020 general elections.
According to sources, the groups are also being armed to form militia for the 2020 polls.
Heavily built men, known in local parlance as ‘Macho men,’ have been recruited for groups which have been given various names such as ‘Hawks’, ‘Dragons’ and ‘Lions’.
The groups were on display across the country during the just-ended Regional Delegates’ Congress of the NDC.
The vigilante groups appear to have different names, depending on the region they come from.
In the Ashanti Region, for instance, the group is called ‘The Hawks’ while in Brong Ahafo, they are called “The Dragons.’
In the Eastern Region, they call themselves ‘The Lions.’
The Hawks were on duty when former President John Mahama led the NDC ‘Unity Walk’ in the Ashanti Region.
These groups carried out their duties during the congress, and a source told DAILY GUIDE that the NDC is using them to test the grounds ahead of the 2020 election.
During the NDC’s Eastern Regional Congress held at Apegusu Senior High School in the Asuogyaman District, members of the vigilante group ‘The Lions’ were there to provide security.
They particularly provided security for John Owusu Amankrah, popularly known as Jowak, a businessman and former regional chairman who staged a comeback to defeat the incumbent Bismarck Tawiah Boateng for the position of Chairman.
At the Sunyani Jubilee Park when issues of missing names in the register were detected by some of the delegates and there was confusion, members of ‘The Dragons’ rushed to the stage to prevent some disgruntled delegates from moving to the dais to lodge complaints with the election committee.
At the Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School (SHS), where the NDC Ashanti held its congress, former deputy minister Joseph Yamin stormed the venue with ‘The Hawks’ and later justified their presence.
“What went into my defeat is something that I can tell. I am not sure we are trying to conclude that vigilantism in political parties should be discarded. These are people we call taskforce and they have a role to play,” he told Joy FM.
He said “delegates play their role, taskforces play their role. Council of elders has its role. These are groupings within every political party and so we will continue to have our taskforce,” he stressed.
According to him, members of the hawks are not as disruptive as members of the vigilante groups in the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“We are going to use them for the good of the party and the country,” he said.
‘The Hawks’ appeared to have been ‘outdoored’ when the NDC held its so-called Unity Walk in Kumasi in late April when former President John Mahama was in attendance.
They have since been moving around the country presumably to provide security for the party during ‘Unity Walks’ or special events of the party.
Currently, members of ‘The Hawks’ provide security at the NDC’s Headquarters at Adabraka anytime there is a big event there.
After the Unity Walk in Kumasi, some NDC gurus in the Ashanti Region like Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh justified the formation of ‘The Hawks’ by saying that it was an ‘answer’ to the Invincible and Delta Forces of the ruling NPP.
"If they have Invincible Forces, we also have The Hawks, and so we will see,” the former Ejisu/Juabeng Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) said.
He stressed that ‘The Hawks’ of the NDC would not foment any trouble in the country as compared to the NPP’s ‘Invincible Forces’ or ‘Delta Forces’.
In spite of the presence of the ‘The Hawks’ in Kumasi, the NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu-Nketia said he did not know about the existence of such groups in the NDC.
"We, in the NDC, want peace in the country; we will not foment any trouble in the country,” he said after the ‘Unity Walk’.