Party vigilante groups to be disbanded – Acting IGP

John Kudalor, IGP
John Kudalor, IGP

Mr John Kudalor, Acting Inspector General of Police on Wednesday said his outfit has scheduled meetings with political party executives in efforts to disband armed youth or vigilante groups ahead of the November 7, general election.

Mr Kudalor said: “We are all aware of the proliferation of unauthorised private security bodies of armed youth within and outside a number of political parties.”

He said the Taskforce would engage stakeholders like political parties, media, Electoral Commission, National Commission for Civic Education, National Peace Council, and religious leaders on discussions to ensure peaceful elections.

Speaking at the inauguration and activation of the National Election Security Taskforce,  Mr Kudalor said the growing phenomenon of armed youth who try to take the law into their hands cannot be allowed to continue, as they do not feature in the national scheme of providing security to citizens and residents in Ghana.

He said the Taskforce, which would be replicated in all regions, would serve as front line for elections intelligence collections, analysis and exploitation of information in support of law enforcement for national security.

Members of the Taskforce comprise personnel from Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Ghana National Fire Service, and Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, Research Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and Ministry of Local Government and Regional Integration.

Mr Kudalor explained that the Taskforce would help the police to deal with all election security related issues in a coordinated manner.

The national, regional and district election taskforce shall have seven sub-committees each, namely; joint operation centre, media and communication, personnel mobilisation, ballot security, finance and budget, intelligence, legal prosecution and transport and logistics.

According to the Acting IGP, elections are very important national exercises, which must not be characterised by vile propaganda, violence and all manner of acts that could compromise the security of the nation.

He said: “Our role as security agencies in elections is to plan and ensure security before, during and after elections, thus the need for the formation of the taskforce.”

Mr Mark Woyongo, outgoing Minister of the Interior who inaugurated the taskforce, expressed the hope that the activation of the unit at the national, regional and district levels would help to effectively deal with undesirable incidents such as shooting, ballot box snatching, vandalisation of property, and other acts of violence that sometimes occurred during elections.

He warned that apart from the national taskforce no other security group whether private or political would be allowed to provide any form of security for the forthcoming elections.

Mr Amadu Sulley, Deputy Chairman of EC, Operations, said the Commission is working hard towards the November 7 elections as proposed.

Source: GNA

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