Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of National Security, says the Government of Ghana is instituting adequate measures to ensure violence-free elections on December 7, 2020.
Ghanaians should be rest assured that the National Election Task Force is ready to provide adequate security against potential electoral violence and other acts of lawlessness, according to him.
Mr Dapaah made the remarks when he briefed Parliament on the State of Security in Ghana and other emerging security threats such as terrorism, maritime security threats, election-related threats and secessionist threats.
Additionally, he informed the House on high profile crimes such as murders, kidnappings, and chieftaincy disputes.
Mr Dapaah cautioned against deliberate attempts to create false insecurity alarms in the country. “The evidence suggests reduction in crime levels in the country,” the Minister said.
The false notion of insecurity, he said, stemmed from the deliberate politicization of issues of national security had become more pronounced as the country approached the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, he said.
Mr Dapaah also stated that an assessment of recent developments in the political space revealed that the false notion of insecurity is fuelled by some politicians.
He said those politicians at one moment, openly threatened violence should they lost the elections and at another, expressed concern about rising insecurity in the country, saying “this is unacceptable and must be condemned in no uncertain terms”.
Mr Dapaah also indicated that despite the politicization of issues of national security which had the potential to undermine the efforts of state security agencies, state security actors had remained resolute in ensuring a peaceful and secured environment for all Ghanaians.
“I would therefore like to thank the personnel of all state security and intelligence agencies for their hard work and relentless efforts in serving Mother Ghana,” he added.
Mr Dapaah also observed that the 2020 Presidential and Parliament elections posed a huge security test to the country in the area of election-related violence given the high stakes involved in competitive political contests in Ghana.
He explained that even when there was a common goal to pursue, the very nature of democratic politics created disagreements resulting from the political differences and interests of competing political parties.
He said the pursuit of political interest should not be allowed to deepen the political fault lines which when unchecked could degenerate into political instability, and therefore made a clarion call to political parties and other stakeholders to uphold unity as the ultimate value.
“That should guide people’s actions before, during and after the December elections,” Mr Kan –Dapaah said, adding that it would be self-defeating and meaningless to pursue their political interests at the detriment of the state.
Mr James Agalga, Ranking Member, Defence and Interior Committee, criticised the Government of Ghana, for “poorly handling the secessionist attack in the Volta region.”
He said Government’s own position that it had intelligence on the matter prior to the attack by the secessionists should have resulted in a more proactive means on the part of the security agencies in foiling the attack.
He said the attack which was launched by the secessionists was very brazen; police stations attacked and arms taken away.
Mr Seth Acheampong, Chairman, Defence and Interior Committee, lauded the Minister for the significant reforms in Ghana’s national security architecture to usher in a new era of enhanced intelligence gathering, security coordination and analysis among others.
He said the country already had a law that prohibited groups such as the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) and Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF), saying their activities were an affront to the existence of Ghana and its people.
He said a lot of progress was being made in dealing with the secessionists and thus urged the Minister to ensure that the sanctity and peace of the country were maintained.