Friday, November 28, 2008

The December 7 General Election - Go Out & Vote, Your Safety Is Assured - Dr Amoo

National Security Co-ordinator, Dr Sam G. Amoo, is urging voters to go out in their numbers to exercise their franchise without fear because the security agencies have put in place adequate measures to ensure the safety of all Ghanaians.

He said the electorate should disabuse their minds of violence on election day or thereafter, as portrayed by sections of the media and some politicians to create fear and panic among the populace.

"The security agencies assure all that we are ready to fulfil our mandate with regard to the forthcoming elections. We shall provide a secure and congenial environment for all to play by the rules. We shall be fair and robust," Dr Amoo told the Daily Graphic.

He said a rapid response strategy had been designed with standby forces in place to react promptly to reinforce and contain any crisis situation.

"Specialised police units like the Rapid Deployment Force, the Armoured Car Squadron, the Mounted Squadron, the Striking Force and multi-purpose vehicles would be deployed, together with appropriate military contingents, as part of the rapid response strategy," he said.

Dr Amoo said joint patrols would be intensified, while the necessary strategies had been mapped out to deal with all the flash points identified by the security forces.

On logistics, he said more than 300 pick-ups had been procured for the task force operations, while the Ministry of Education had confirmed its readiness to release an additional 300 vehicles to the National Security Council Secretariat for use in the regions and districts for security activities during the elections.

The National Security Co-ordinator said all ministries, departments and agencies were to release all available vehicles to the regional and district co-ordinating councils by the close of December 4, 2008 for the transportation of security personnel for election duties throughout the country.

He said arrangements had also been made with the GPRTU, PROTOA and M-Plaza for the hiring of additional vehicles to support the transporting of security personnel to the various regions and districts.

"A comprehensive communication plan to cover the whole country for the operations of the election security task force has been put in place. Equipment for the communication strategy includes VHS radios, a national security communication system and Kasapa cellular phones," he added.

Dr Amoo recalled that the readiness of the security agencies was tested and rehearsed through nation-wide police/military joint training exercises between November 3 and 17, 2008.

He said the National Security Secretariat was convinced that on the D-day all concerned agencies would function like a seamless operational machine to achieve the ultimate goal of ensuring a secure and enabling environment for a free, fair and transparent electoral process.
He explained that while the activities and operations of the election security task forces were ongoing, the regional and district security committees would continue to function, stressing that "military and police commands will continue to operate in their traditional roles, with overlap responsibility with the various rapid response forces within their areas of responsibility".

He said the Ghana National Fire Service would continue to play its traditional roles but would also be on standby to respond to any fire outbreak.

Dr Amoo was confident that the good people of Ghana would support and work with the security agencies to maintain peace with fairness and firmness.

"Lest we forget, we are a people who have gone through a lot in our young history: We have been freed (1957), we have been liberated (1966), redeemed (1972), revolutionised (1979 and 1981) and eventually we have achieved democratic dispensation. This, we believe, Ghanaians are all determined to keep," he added.

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