A leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) believed to be one of the founders of the party’s notorious Hawks, Joseph Yammin, has cynically said that the opposition party will not disband the vigilante group on any day.
He said his position is hinged on the fact that the vigilante group is a recognized organ of the NDC.
“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 revealed.
He attacked the Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu, when he said earlier that the number one police officer is a ‘hypocrite.’
“The IGP is a hypocrite to ask that vigilante groups should be disbanded. When the President gave him an order that when certain persons go beyond their mandate they should be arrested, how many of them did he arrest?” he quizzed earlier.
Mr. Yammin did not also spare heads of religious bodies who are concerned about the rising cases associated with vigilantism.
The announcement from the former Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports belies earlier signs that the NDC could be amenable to a dialogue on vigilantism.
President Akufo-Addo had cause to respond to the concerns raised by the embattled NDC National Chairman Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo about the proposed dialogue.
The President largely kicked against the itemized conditions put forth in the party’s response to the original correspondence.
Until the leadership of the party dissociates itself from the announcement, it’s unlikely that there would be a resolution to the vigilante phenomenon, one of whose fallouts was the violence which played out during the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election recently.
This being his first public utterance since Wasihu Iddrisu, an NDC taskforce member, was fatally shot and killed by a an operative of the rival vigilante – the Hawk – in Kumasi, Mr. Yammin has found his voice again after an extended hibernation.
Soon after the murder which took place on the compound of the Ashanti Regional Office of the NDC, Mr. Yammin locked up his house and fled as the police hunted him.
He eventually turned himself in and became very sober until this “we won’t disband the Hawks” rhetoric on Kumasi-based Pure FM recently.
He must be technically on bail after writing a statement for the investigators in the murder case.
Joseph Yammin is known as the sponsor of the Hawks and having lost out to the man who is now the chairman of the party in the region, he appears to operate a parallel office in Kumasi, drawing the allegiance of the Hawks.
Sponsors of such clandestine wings of parties will hardly own up for doing so. It’s in that vein that Joseph Yammin held back somewhat when asked a question in that direction.
Functions Of The Hawks
The Hawks, like their Tamale counterparts, are sometimes bussed to Accra to perform clandestine security operations for the party and return when the tasks are accomplished.
He said members of the Hawks, being card-bearing members of the NDC, perform security duties on election days, thereby supplementing the role of the police when their service is inadequate on such dates.
The leader of the Hawks is a member of the security committee of the NDC, he disclosed.
One of the recommendations of the commission would definitely relate to how to stem the activities of vigilante groups.
With such arrogant announcements from the NDC, the opposition party could be heading for a collision course with the government, especially as the President could turn to legislation to stop vigilantism in the country.