A taskforce known as National Election Security Taskforce (NESTF) – made up of the police, armed forces, fire service, immigration, prisons, national security and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) – was yesterday inaugurated at a brief ceremony held at the police headquarters in Accra.
Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, Inspector General of Police (IGP), in a welcome address, said NESTF constituted the highest policy making body for formulation, planning and implementation and for which members must monitor and coordinate the activities of all sub-committees that would be established by the taskforce in the regional and at the metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
He further said the taskforce had the responsibility to liaise with all the necessary authorities to marshal all that would be needed for effective security before, during and after elections.
Mr. Mohammed Alhassan also mentioned that one basic essential of representative democracy is the existence of a defined system in which the people govern themselves by electing their own leaders.
The IGP continued that government is enjoined by law to secure the principle of free and fair elections, adding that it is for this reason that the Electoral Commission is empowered to organize free, air and regular elections for the people to choose the president of the republic, the people’s representatives in parliament and at the district assemblies.
He stressed that the police and the other security services have the mandate to ensure that the nation is peaceful, and lives and property are protected at all times.
The Minister for the Interior, Mark Owen Woyongo who inaugurated NESTF, reiterated that the security of every election is an issue that is critical to government.
According to him, there was therefore the need to put measures in place to ensure transparency and fairness in the country’s elections, adding that the importance of the local government structures in the overall national development plan is invariably the bedrock of democracy and for which all seriousness must be attached for its success.
The interior minister charged the taskforce to take the necessary steps to adequately plan and strategically deploy personnel to places identified as hot spots.
By Solomon Ofori
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