Security agencies declare zero tolerance to violence

Mr. Prosper Bani

Mr. Prosper Bani

The security agencies will ensure a zero tolerance for violence in and around polling stations on election day, to guarantee incident-free elections in December, the Interior Minister, Mr. Douglas Prosper Bani, has assured.
“The police will be swift in dealing with anybody, who will attempt to foment trouble before, during and after the polls. We will continue to remain vigilant throughout the country to ensure our country is safe,” Mr. Bani said, at the Meet-The-Press encounter in Accra yesterday.
The meeting was to afford the minister the opportunity to report to the people, developments at the ministry over the last 12 months and the preparations being made ahead of the December polls, in terms of security.
Mr. Bani was accompanied by heads of security institutions, including the Police, Immigration, Prisons, Fire Services, the National Disaster Management Organisation, the National Peace Council, the Narcotics Control Board, the National Commission on Small Arms, the Gaming Commission and the Ghana Refugee Board.
According to the minister, “no mischief would be tolerated” around the more than 29,000 polling stations across the country on election day which would be manned by security officials.
The security agencies, Mr. Bani said, had designed special response mechanisms to douse down any aggression that may arise at any polling station “swiftly and timeously”.
He said a joint police and military team, would be tasked to deal with violence on the election day.
“I don’t even think we will get there to unleash such a taskforce to deal with the situation. I know there are some few people who would want to misbehave and if they do, we have the men to bring them under control” Mr. Bani emphasised.
He said the ministry stood by its earlier call on the political parties to disband any vigilante groups in their fold and work with the security agencies in order to engender confidence in the security.
Mr. Bani insisted that such vigilante groups were illegal and that was why the police had given the presidential candidates maximum security in order to discourage the use of thugs as their bodyguards.
In order to deepen the collaboration between the police and the political parties, it had dialogue with the parties as to how they could collectively ensure the elections were peaceful, he said.
Mr. Bani noted that there had been massive investment in the security services and that investment would be evident if anyone or group of persons tried to disturb the peace on polling day.
He reiterated that social media would not be banned on election day.

 

By Julius Yao Petetsi           

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