Police identify 5,000 polling stations as hotspots

Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, Sept. 9, GNA – Ahead of the 2016
general elections, the Ghana Police Service has identified over 5,000 polling
stations as potential hotspots for electoral violence.

Mr John Kudalor, the Inspector General of
Police (IGP), said the Electoral Commission has revealed that 81 out of the 275
constituencies in Ghana are potential hotspots for electoral violence.

He said the proliferation of illicit arms in
the country, the existence of numerous land and chieftaincy disputes and the
prevalence of terrorist activities in some neighbouring countries might serve
as triggers for violence and therefore, pose real threats to the 2016 general

He explained that it was against this
background that the National Security Architecture was activated on January 20,
2016, to plan for the 2016 general election, with the IGP as chairman.

Mr Kudalor said this in a speech read on his
behalf at a colloquium on Peaceful Elections in Ghana, on the theme “Reducing
the Incidence of Violence in Election 2016 and Beyond”.

The colloquium was organised by the Kofi
Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in collaboration
with STAR-Ghana and the Multimedia Group.

He said the overall objective of the task
forces was to provide a forum for security agencies to impartially deal with
all election security-related issues in a coordinated manner.

Secondly to insulate security agencies from
all forms of interferences in the course of policing elections.

On the vigilante groups, electoral violence
and the 2016 general election, the IGP said the security services believe that
militant posture alone could not resolve the vigilante issue, as the groups
were likely to lie low only to resurface later.

He said for the first time, the police,
supported by the Small Arms Commission, secured a duly signed communique from
political parties on issues bothering on militant pressure groups.

Mr Kudalor said the security agencies have
emphasized that vigilante activities were illegal and that private security
organisations must conform with the Police Service (Private Security
Organisations) Regulation, 1992 (LI 1571).

He said the 2016 general election was
extremely crucial and the stakes are very high for all stakeholders, however,
the security agencies were ready to ensure that peace prevails.

“Security agencies are fully prepared
to assist the EC conduct the 2016 elections by working with other stakeholders.
We shall not fail our dear nation,” he said.

Air Vice Marshal Griffiths Evans, the
Commandant of the KAIPTC, said despite Ghana’s huge democratic credentials,
there is the need to preserve and consolidate the gains.


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