Members of the National Election Security Taskforce (NESTF) in a group phonograph with the Minister of Interior, IGP and Vice Chairmen of EC and other dignitaries.
A National Election Security Taskforce (NESTF), which has been mandated to provide the right platform to deal with all election related security issues in this year’s general elections, has been launched at the police headquarters.
The taskforce comprises representatives of all government security institutions, including the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Immigration, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Others include the Electoral Commission, Research Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the Ministry of Local Government.
The outgoing Minister of Interior, Mark Owen Woyongo, in an inaugural address, said the national security taskforce would set up systems and structures and also develop strategies to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections come November 7, this year.
He said apart from the taskforce, no other security group, be it private or political, will be allowed to provide any form of security in the forthcoming elections.
“Elections are often associated with numerous security challenges, hence the need to constitute a national election security taskforce with all the relevant sub-committees who will come out with the best strategies to ensure peaceful elections come November 7, 2016.”
The acting Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor, in a speech, said the taskforce will serve as a frontline for elections intelligence collection and analysis in support of law enforcement to boost security.
“To ensure effective coordination of security matters across the country, the taskforce will be replicated in all regions through the formation of regional election security taskforce nationwide.
He said the national, district and regional election taskforces shall have seven sub-committees, including a joint operation centre, media and communication, personnel mobilization, ballot security, finance and budget, intelligence, legal and prosecution and transport and logistics.
He said that all formations and regional commanders should collaborate and work towards the activation and inauguration of all regional election and district security taskforce in the shortest possible time.
Mr. Kudalor added that the police will not countenance any private security bodies better known as ‘vigilante groups’ aligned to any political party.
“The growing phenomenon of ‘armed youth’ who try to take the law into their own hands cannot be allowed to continue as they do not feature in our scheme of providing security to citizens and residents.
He revealed that the police have scheduled a meeting with all executives of political parties to find a way of disbanding the groups.
The Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Amadu Sulley said his outfit was looking at the recommendations by the Supreme Court during the election petition hearing and that of the election committee to amend some of the elections procedures.
Some of the amendments will touch on the registration of voters and others, he said.
By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey