A 12-member Regional Security Taskforce (RESTF) has been inaugurated in the Upper West Region, to oversee the smooth conduct of impending District Assembly Elections and Referendum in December and the 2020 general election.
It is made up of Regional Security Coordinator, Military Detachment Commander, Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education, Regional Crime Officer, Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Regional Representative of the Director-General of Defence Intelligence, Regional Commander of the Prison Service, Regional Commander of the Bureau of National Investigations, Regional Commander of Custom Excise and Preventive Service, Regional Fire Officer and the Regional Immigration Officer and chaired by Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Francis Aboagye Nyarko.
Inaugurating the taskforce at Wa on Thursday, the Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, outlined that the RESTF was expected to ensure the overall security of the elections from the District Assembly Elections to the 2020 general polls, secure safe transport, storage of ballot materials at police stations and also ensure peace at polling stations on respective election days.
“As part of your mandate, the taskforce is supposed to see to smooth settlement of complaints, arrest and prosecute offenders, identify trouble prone areas, un-motorable areas and riverine for advanced planning, make estimates on security personnel, expenditure required to the police and all polling stations as well as regulate other matters of security concern.
“The achievement of transparent, free and fair elections is not preserve of one institution but collaborative efforts of all stakeholders who are expected to relegate party affiliations and sympathies to the backyard to assume neutral stand will enable them earn trust of the people in order to effectively administer them, ” Dr Salih noted.
He encouraged Ghanaians to conduct themselves in a civil manner during the electoral season, adding that their conduct must be devoid of insults, castigations, attacks on personalities and use of utterances that could ignite controversies but rather embark on issue-oriented campaigns.
DCOP Nyarko announced that the inauguration of the taskforce would be followed by series of meetings to strategise for the task ahead, saying “the taskforce will need to start work as soon as possible with the inauguration of the unit and receive legal binding to discharge its duties.”
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORJODUR, WA