Friday, September 26, 2008

Security services urged to cooperate with political parties


      The Northern Regional Elections Security Taskforce (RESTF) has been urged to cooperate with the various political parties and the media to ensure violence-free elections.
     The Taskforce has in particular been urged to ensure that no two political parties held rallies on the same day and in the same town in order to avoid clashes among their supporters.
     Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Northern Regional Minister, made this call when he inaugurated an eight-member RESTF as part of efforts to provide maximum security for the conduct of the 2008 elections in the Region.
     The Regional Minister urged the Taskforce to hold meetings with the leadership of the political parties to know their programmes to avoid misunderstandings and also to ensure free flow of information between it and the media.
     DCOP Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, Regional Police Commander is the Chairman of the Taskforce.
     Members of the Taskforce include the Regional Security Co-ordinator; Regional Directors of Prisons, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Immigration Service and Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Regional Commander of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS).
     Co-opted members of the Taskforce are the Regional Director of Information Service Department and the Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC).
     Alhaji Idris impressed upon the members of the Taskforce to be neutral, fair, firm and resolute in the discharge of their duties and urged them to exhibit high sense professionalism.
     He urged them to strictly enforce the rules of the elections while at the same time endeavouring to win public confidence.
     He said Ghana had taken a cue from the election disputes that had led to violence in countries such as Kenya and Zimbabwe and was putting in place strategic measures to forestall similar disturbances in the country.   
     The Taskforce would among other things, maintain law and order throughout the Region; provide the desirable peace and secured environment for successful elections in December 2008.
     It is also to provide secured environment for smooth campaign by all political parties and an enabling atmosphere for the updating of the Voters Register.
     The Taskforce would assist the EC to send election materials and personnel to all polling stations, particularly to the inaccessible areas.
     It would help to identify all flash points and provide maximum security in those areas and also maintain close liaison with the EC and monitor post election activities to maintain law and order.
     DCOP Gyeabour said the Taskforce would ensure effective policing and maintain law and order and also conduct investigations into any disputes and ensure the free flow of traffic on Election Day.

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