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11.10.2008 Politics

Police would not countenance activities that may cause mayhem – Botwe


Superintendent Charles Botwe, Sunyani District Police Commander, on Friday said the police would not countenance political activities that had the potential to cause mayhem in the municipality before, during and after the December polls.

He said; “politics of acrimony, rancour and intimidation,” was a thing of the past and that the country's democratic dispensation had reached a level that enabled eligible voters to exercise their civic responsibilities without fear or interference.

Supt. Botwe, also the chairman of Sunyani West District Election Security Taskforce Committee said this at a meeting of the committee in Odumase, district capital.

He said ensuring free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections was a shared responsibility for security agencies, Electoral Commission, National Commission for Civic Education and the entire society.

The eight-member committee is made up of representatives of Sunyani West District Assembly, Ghana National Fire Service, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service and Bureau of National Investigations.

Supt. Botwe explained that the taskforce intended to form patrol teams that would be deployed to the 200 polling stations in Sunyani East and West constituencies to monitor and check irregularities during the elections.

He said as part of the activities of the taskforce, it had met with representatives of almost all the political parties within its operational area to educate them on the electoral process and the need to guard against campaigns of insults and abusive remarks.

The Chairman of the taskforce bemoaned the rate at which some people used abusive language in their contributions to phone-in segments of FM radio programmes, stressing that such behaviour posed a threat to the prevailing peace in the country.

While appealing to media practitioners to cross-check information, more especially concerning elections before dissemination, Supt. Botwe commended the media for its tremendous contributions in helping to nurture the country's fledging democracy.

He warned the electorate against carrying offensive instruments to polling stations on the day of voting, saying “the police are mandated to arrest and prosecute anybody who would be spotted carrying any offensive material”.

Mr Emmanuel Num, District Coordinating Director and Secretary to the Committee said the taskforce, which was inaugurated on September 26 this year, was an independent body devoid of ethnic, tribal and political sentiments.

He appealed to the media to rally solidly behind the taskforce in the discharge of its duties to make this year's elections violence-free.