ENSURING EFFECTIVE SECURITY FOR DECEMBER POLLS

The pre-election incident that occurred between the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters on Sunday, has raised a lot of security concerns.
The supporters of the two leading political parties clashed in front of the residence of the NPP presidential hopeful at Nima, a suburb of Accra, amidst firing of gunshots.
Following the clash, many Ghanaians, including President John Mahama, have criticised the police for not being proactive in averting the clash.
The NPP also blamed the police for reacting slowly to the incident that occurred close to the Nima Police Station.
The clash also provoked reactions from the clergy, and the diplomatic corps, including, those from the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The reactions suggest that a lot of people are concerned about security arrangements in the run-up to the general elections.
Indeed, as the country heads to the December 7 polls, political tension is running high, and it appears the security agencies are facing discontent from the public about their handling of politically motivated violence.
There is the feeling that the country’s security is under threat because the police and other security agencies have been unable to take decisive action against those who breach the law or foment trouble in the country.
Furthermore, the existence of vigilantes, and the possession of illegal guns by private individuals, have emboldened some supporters to misbehave and incited violence against their political opponents.
The security services must not sit unconcerned and allow wrongdoers to take advantage of the charged political season and engage in violence.
Political violence is a threat to our collective security and, therefore, it is important for the security services to map out strategies to stem the electoral violence.
The Times would like to encourage the security services to be more proactive, and be alert, to avoid similar clashes in future.
The Nima clash might not have resulted in any casualties, but no one can foretell what would happen in an event of another clash.
The security services must be vigilant as it is possible that political opportunists may want to take advantage of the situation and indulge in mischief.
Ghana has an enviable record of organising successful elections over the years.
Once again, we must all support the security agencies to provide effective security, required for the holding of yet another election on December 7.

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