The CDS, IGP and the security agents on the Independence Square parade ground yesterday
The Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service have jointly declared that they will not allow any private security arrangement during the December general elections.
While the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lt Gen Obed Boamah Akwa, has said they were “going to nip in the bud” any miscreant who will want to disrupt the elections, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong Boanuh, who is also the Chairman of the Election Security Task Force, said “we are not going to stand for impersonation of security officers during the elections.”
The two security chiefs were addressing security personnel at the end of a national ‘Show of Force’ route march at the Independence Square yesterday.
Among personnel on parade were the Ghana Armed Forces, The Ghana Police Service, The Ghana Prisons Service, The Ghana Fire Service, The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, The Ghana Immigration Service and The Ghana Ambulance Service.
Personnel of the National Commission for Civic Education were also present.
The exercise code named ‘Tafia Lafiya’, which in Hausa means ‘safety or healthy walk’, was aimed at assuring the public of the security services’ preparedness to provide the needed security, for the general elections while dealing with trouble makers. It also sought to encourage the public to support peace during the elections.
Mr. Boanuh continued that as peace officers, the police had the mandate to protect Ghanaians and also to protect the ballot.
“We are approaching this election with peace and we will protect peace-loving Ghanaians and not criminals who will want to foment trouble during the elections,” he said.
Continuing, he said, “We are going to be impartial and not take sides. We are going to ensure that whatever we do our professionalism will stand.”
He urged personnel to apply the law and arrest any persons who broke the law during the elections.
“On the Election Day, if you do not belong to the police, army, fire service or any of the security services gathered here, you have no business protecting the ballot or providing security on Election Day.
If you are not a member of any of these services, you have no business putting on any type of uniform and storming the polling station, when you do that we will deal with you,” he warned.
Lt Gen. Akwa added that personnel had demonstrated to Ghanaians that the security services would create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility within which voters could cast their ballots.
He maintained that law abiding citizens should have the assurance of the security services that they would cast their ballots in peace and without any hindrance.
“At the same time, those who are determined to be a source of hindrance, miscreants and those who are going to play the role of vigilante banned by law, will be dealt with according to the law.”
Personnel were divided into five groups and assigned to five routes.
Route one started from the Independence Square through to Liberation Rd. – 37 – N1 – Weija – Kasoa – Oboom Road – Amasaman – Sowutuom – N1 – 37 Giffard Road.
Route two marchers departed from the Independence Square through to Ako – Adjei Interchange, – Circle – Tesano –Achimota – Pokuase – Nsawam – Amasaman – Aburi – Frafraha – Madina – Legon.
Route three personnel also departed from the Independence Square through to Osu – La – Nungua – Lashibi – Sakumono – Comm19 – Spintex Road – Tetteh Quarshie –East Legon – Adjiringanor – Ashaley Botwe:
And Route Four personnel departed from the Independence Square through Accra Central – James Town – Agbogbloshie – Korle Bu – Saprobic – Dansoman – Kaneshie – Circle – Nima – Adabraka.
Those on route five took off in Tema, covering Michel Camp – Gbetsele – Afienya –Dahwenya – Tsopoli – Ningo – Prampram – Kpone – Tema – New Town – Ashaiman.
All the groups converged on the Independence Square for the addresses of the security chiefs.
By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey