21.05.2004 General News

IGP: We'll not tolerate violence from any party

21.05.2004 LISTEN

Accra, May 21, GNA - The Inspector General of Police, Nana Owusu Nsiah on Thursday warned that the Police Administration would not tolerate violence from any political party in the run-up to election 2004. "We are not conducting selective policing; no matter which party you belong to, we will deal with you," Mr Owusu Nsiah said during an open forum at a consultative meeting of Senior Police Officers, Chief Executives and Editors of media institutions in Accra.

Nana Owusu Nsiah said the law would favour neither political activists nor chiefs, who used electioneering campaign platforms to brew trouble. He said the Police Administration was holding consultative meeting with stakeholders and groups and questioned the basis for criticism after it held discussions with some chiefs on their roles to make the polls peaceful, recently.

Nana Owusu Nsiah debunked rumours of the existence of "Party Police", explaining that what was seen as "Party Police" was a regular part of the Police, who acted as bodyguards of Government Officials and Security Officers at their residences.

The IGP said the Police Administration, with permission from the Government, set up the Protection Unit about seven years ago. He said the Police did not engage in active politics and could, therefore, not have created the Unit for any party.

He appealed to the media to inform the Police off-air of security situations so that they could mobilise to get to crime scene before the criminals got information that the Police were on their way to arrest them.

Nana Owusu Nsiah stated for instance that the running of live commentaries on the recent bomb scare in Accra hindered Police investigations and at the same time put the lives of innocent persons in danger.

"Certain information involving the security of the state must be handled with utmost care. Some security issues must be left to the security agents to handle rather than being discussed publicly to undermine state security," the IGP said and appealed to the media to seek clarification on security issues before they were brought into the public domain.

Ms Eva Lokko, Director General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, who chaired the meeting stressed an effective collaboration between the Police and the Media in the run-up to the elections and asked the Media to use their "power" positively as formidable force for peace.

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