Outgoing Interior Minister Mark Woyongo has inaugurated the 2016 National Election Security Taskforce.
He called on the taskforce to deal with undesirable incidents such as shooting, ballot box snatching, vandalization of property and other acts of violence.
He said apart from the taskforce no other security group, be it private or political would be allowed to operate for the forthcoming elections and the police administration is working out a programme to that effect.
The taskforce is to provide the right platform to deal with all election security related issues in a coordinated manner.
They comprise Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, representatives of the Electoral Commission, the Research Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The task force is to be replicated in all the regions and districts with each regional and district head providing a number of personnel who would serve on the various technical sub-committees of the national task force.
Mr Woyongo said: “As we prepare towards the upcoming general election, it is important for security agencies and all relevant stakeholders to plan ahead in providing the needed security to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections.”
He commended the security agencies and stakeholders for successfully discharging their duties over the years and expressed hope that they would stand up to the task once again.
Mr Woyongo said election security planning is not an event, but a process, which begins several months prior to the Election Day to ensure effectiveness,
“It is in this regard that it has become imperative to activate the security taskforce to plan, monitor, coordinate and implement security details of the upcoming elections to ensure that no violence is recorded and results are credible and accepted by all.”
He said in 2012, a taskforce was constituted during the electoral process, comprising representatives of the agencies involved in providing security.
“They met regularly with the Electoral Commission, media, traditional and religious leaders and political parties. Such activities contributed in no small measure to the peaceful manner in which the elections were conducted.”
Mr John Kudalor, Acting Inspector General of Police said all agencies are to collaborate and share information and intelligence.
“We need to share logistics and resources, if need be to meet the expectations and demands of Ghanaians,” he added.