Security agencies schooled on how to deal with electoral violence
9/13/2012 10:00:54 PM -
Tamale, Sept. 13, GNA - Security Agencies in the Northern Region on Thursday attended a three-day refresher workshop on how to deal with electoral violence so as to make the December polls violence free.
The agencies included the Ghana Police, Immigration, Fire and Prisons services as well as the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
Ambassador Oliver Lawluvi, a Former Ambassador to Canada, addressing participants said the training was part of prelude activities to ensure the preparedness of the law enforcement agencies towards free, fair, smooth and peaceful elections in December.
The workshop was on the theme: 'Ensuring Credible and Transparent Elections: The Role of Security Agencies,' and was organized by the Ghana Police Service with support from the DFID.
Mr Lawluvi said in recent times, elections had become a major flash point in most multi-party democracies and the carnage associated with them often inflicted physical and emotional wounds on nations.
'In today's world, particularly in Africa, political powers and its trappings have become so juicy that the players and their followers are prepared to break all rules of engagement to gain power,' he said.
Mr Lawluvi said due to power thirst political aspirants and their cohorts who ordinarily were imbued with sense of human decency could suddenly turn into people who were prepared to sacrifice peace, tranquility and national cohesion for personal gain.
DCOP George Tuffour, Northern Regional Police Commander, said peace was a vital element in human existence and development and called on all and sundry especially political party followers to support the security agencies to safeguard the peace.
He said by law the security agencies had been mandated to protect people and property during campaign, voting and after elections.
'We are to ensure the safety of electoral officers and materials as well as provide security for candidates during campaign and elections," he said.
DCOP Tuffour advised participants to exhibit high sense of professionalism and remain fair, impartial and restrain from the use of force but rather communicate constantly with superior officers in the event of security threat.
He called on the public to respect electoral laws to complement the security agencies' efforts towards maintaining the peace, before, during and after the elections.