The Minister-Designate for the Interior, Prosper Bani, has urged political parties to register their security or vigilante groups ahead of the upcoming general elections.
Contrary to calls by some members of the public for the abolition of political party vigilante groups such as the Azoka Boys of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Invincible Forces of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Bani said political parties could have their own security so far as they were registered.
He said this yesterday when he appeared before the Appointment Committee of Parliament to be vetted for the position of the interior minister.
Mr. Bani said the registration of political party security groups would enable the state security to monitor their activities.
He said it was imperative for the security groups to respect the laws of the country, and indicated that the police was currently consulting the various political parties on the issue.
On internal security, the minister-designate said when given the nod, he would work towards increasing the number of police personnel from the current 32,000 to 40,000 in order to achieve the United Nations’ (UN) standard police-civilian ratio of 1:500.
He observed that the crime rate in the country was as a result of lack of personnel and technology, and expressed the commitment to work towards crime prevention, rather than crime detection when given the approval.
The Minister-designate promised to assist the security institutions to investigate unresolved crimes to ensure that perpetrators of such crimes were brought to justice.
Mr. Bani touched on the issue of the Fulani nomads, and said that if care was not taken, clashes between the Fulani nomads and local community folks would degenerate into A.K 47 wielding conflicts.
He suggested that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration should engage with its counterparts in neighbouring countries to find out how the issue could be dealt with.
Mr Bani commented on the proliferation of arms in the country, and commended the security agencies for seizing arms that had been smuggled into the country.
He said the security forces would be strengthened to continue to fight crime and intercept arms being smuggled into the country when he becomes the minister.
Mr. Bani, who has held several positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), promised to strengthen the National Fire Service to enable it prevent and fight fire outbreaks.
In the wake of the recent murder of the Member of Parliament for Abuakwa North, J.B Dankwah, Mr. Bani said he would discuss with the leadership of the House on the possibility for the state to provide security for MPs.
The Minister-designate of the Eastern Region, Mavis Ama Frimpong, who also appeared before the committee, was quizzed on illegal mining, education, agriculture, roads, tourism and security, among others, in the Eastern Region.
She said when given the nod, she would package the industrial potential of the region and seek investments to improve economic activities in the region.
Ms. Frimpong is the current Deputy Minister of the Eastern Region. She was a former District Chief Executive of the Birim North District and a Sexual and Reproductive Health Adviser at the Millennium Development Goals Centre of Earth Institute at the Columbia University.
By Yaw Kyei