Monday, December 1, 2008

BNI poll seriously divisive- Akwettey

The Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance has descended heavily on the Bureau of National Investigation poll that predicted a first round victory for the New Patriotic Party presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.

According to Dr. Emmanuel Akwettey, the content and timing of polls was not only worrisome but a dent on the neutrality of the institution.

For a security apparatus already struggling to shake off a perception of bias it was in bad taste for the BNI to have made such a poll public, he told Joy FM in an interview on Monday.

The chronicle news paper on Monday published on its front page a detailed report of a nation wide survey conducted by the BNI which did not only predict a first round victory for the NPP, but details of how the party would perform in the parliamentary election.

Describing the report as "seriously divisive", Mr. Akwettey noted the details of how voters might cast their votes in certain regions and constituencies had the tendency to "evoke ethnic passions."

Asked how different this polls was from the ones conducted by the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, Mr. Akwettey deferred to his colleague, Mr. Emmanuel Bombande Director of the West Africa Network for peace Building (WANEP), who said the core duty of the BNI was to gather intelligence adding, the partisan nature embarked on by the BNI had serious repercussions to the state.

Mr. Akwettey who took over from his colleague said intelligence reports are only meant for the eyes of the government and not the public.

He advised the BNI to stick religiously to its statutory mandate and maintain its neutrality, adding the BNI must draw a fine line between serving the state and the government.

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