Only uniform personnel will be deployed to polling stations – Dr Gariba

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Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Dr Sayibu Gariba, Director of Operations of the Ghana Police Service says only uniform personnel from the Police and other security agencies would be deployed to polling stations in the upcoming December 7, elections.

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According to him, the National Election Security Task Force (NESTF) would not tolerate the deployment of “thugs” to polling stations by anybody in the name of the Police and other security agencies.

“And anything outside this is not part of the National Election Security Task Force and nobody or agency is allowed to deploy.”

Dr Gariba who represented the Inspector General of Police, Mr James Oppong Boanuh made the revelation when he spoke at a forum organized by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MOPA) in Accra.

The conference, which was on the theme: “2020 Elections and its implication for peace and security in Ghana seeks to support the confidence-building initiatives by the state and non-state actors towards a peaceful election in December 2020.

It was also aimed at encouraging a broad national consensus on the relationship between peace and national development in Ghana.

It highlighted critical emerging security threats as election 2020 approaches as well as provided an overview of the preparedness of the security agencies to provide a safe and secured environment for the conduct of the 2020 elections.

It is also to elicit the support of the security agencies, political parties, and candidates in the conduct of peaceful, free, fair, transparent, and accountable elections.

Dr Gariba who spoke on the topic: “The state of security preparations for the 2020 Elections” also stated that the security agencies selected for the 2020 elections included the Ghana Police Service (GPS), Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Customs Division of the GRA, Ghana Prisons Service (GPS), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the Ghana Armed Forces.

He explained that during the elections, the security agencies were expected to do both static and mobile deployments.

He said the static deployment involved the distribution of security personnel to polling stations, collations centres, and strategic installations whilst the mobile deployment included the use of mobile teams, patrol teams, and reserves which would be carried out by the Police Operational Unit and the Ghana Armed Forces.

He said the intelligence services such as the National Security, BNI among others are expected to do covert operations to support the security agencies.

Brigadier General, Dr Emmanuel Kotia, National Coordinator, Ghana Boundary Commission speaking on the topic: “2020 elections and its implications for peace and security in Ghana” said the peace and security of any country was very crucial, and that without security, a country’s influence on development cannot be met.

He said any country that was unable to develop would not be in a position to provide for the well-being of its people.

He said there was, therefore, an interconnection between security, development, and the living conditions of the people.

“If the people that political parties, independent candidates and other actors are fighting to rule are not able to have secure environment in the country, we cannot have the peace of mind to rule, and for that matter, we might not be able to achieve what we have to achieve as a country” he added.

Dr Kotia explained that elections-related violence could undermine democracy by eroding people’s faith in the democratic process in relation to the peace and security of the country.

He said to prevent violence, elections should be viewed as a process rather than an event, taking into consideration pre-election activities, election-day, post-election activities as well as other measures taken by the Electoral Commission.

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