5,000 polling stations classified as hotspots

Ahead of the 2016 general elections, the Ghana Police Service has identified over 5,000 polling stations as potential hotspots for electoral violence.

John Kudalor
John Kudalor

Mr John Kudalor, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), said the Electoral Commission has revealed that 81 out of the 275 constituencies in Ghana are potential hotspots for electoral violence.

He said the proliferation of illicit arms in the country, the existence of numerous land and chieftaincy disputes and the prevalence of terrorist activities in some neighbouring countries might serve as triggers for violence and therefore, pose real threats to the 2016 general election.

He explained that it was against this background that the National Security Architecture was activated on January 20, 2016, to plan for the 2016 general election, with the IGP as chairman.

Mr Kudalor said this in a speech read on his behalf at a colloquium on Peaceful Elections in Ghana, on the theme “Reducing the Incidence of Violence in Election 2016 and Beyond”.

The colloquium was organised by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in collaboration with STAR-Ghana and the Multimedia Group.

He said the overall objective of the task forces was to provide a forum for security agencies to impartially deal with all election security-related issues in a coordinated manner.

Secondly to insulate security agencies from all forms of interferences in the course of policing elections.

On the vigilante groups, electoral violence and the 2016 general election, the IGP said the security services believe that militant posture alone could not resolve the vigilante issue, as the groups were likely to lie low only to resurface later.

He said for the first time, the police, supported by the Small Arms Commission, secured a duly signed communique from political parties on issues bothering on militant pressure groups.

Mr Kudalor said the security agencies have emphasized that vigilante activities were illegal and that private security organisations must conform with the Police Service (Private Security Organisations) Regulation, 1992 (LI 1571).

He said the 2016 general election was extremely crucial and the stakes are very high for all stakeholders, however, the security agencies were ready to ensure that peace prevails.

“Security agencies are fully prepared to assist the EC conduct the 2016 elections by working with other stakeholders. We shall not fail our dear nation,” he said.

Air Vice Marshal Griffiths Evans, the Commandant of the KAIPTC, said despite Ghana’s huge democratic credentials, there is the need to preserve and consolidate the gains.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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