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22.10.2004 Politics

Ghanaians advised to guard against misinformation

By GNA

Koforidua, Oct 22, GNA - Nana Owusu-Nsiah, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), on Thursday advised Ghanaians to guard against misinformation from mischievous persons that might be calculated to incite the people to take actions that could mar the Election 2004. He also called on the media to collaborate with the Security Agencies to enable them to maintain law and order, particularly during the elections to ensure free and fair polls.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah was addressing a meeting of officers of the security agencies, political party executives and journalists from the Eastern Region at Koforidua.

Representatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Convention People's Party (CPP) and the Grand Coalition made up of the People's National Convention (PNC), Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE) and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) attended the meeting.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah called for the bridging of the communication gap between the authorities and the people, which according to him had partly resulted in rumors and confusion.

He said a survey carried out by the Public Relations Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, showed that some sections of the media tended to politicise crime adding that " media reports on purely criminal cases are interwoven with politics".

Nana Owusu-Nsiah noted that: "whenever a person is suspected to have committed a crime and is invited to assist in investigations, politics is read into such actions " and said it had hindered objective investigations.

The IGP urged journalists to contact the appropriate security agencies to confirm stories that border on security before informing the public on them.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah also advised the media not to concentrate on political reportage alone but to also intensify their education on health, education, social welfare and agriculture and economics. He said: "posterity will judge the performance of all of us, particularly the media, using their educational role as a yardstick during this elections ".

Nana Owusu Nsiah reminded political parties that a peaceful election is the beacon of true democracy and urged them to desist from making derogatory utterances and insulting their political opponents.

Nana Owusu Nsiah said anyone who would violate the law during the 200 Election would be arrested and prosecuted and advised the Security Agencies to be politically neutral and adhere to the ethics of their profession.

Mr Vincent K. Dzakpata, the Eastern Regional Police Commander, cautioned party supporters, especially the youth not to allow themselves to be used as tools for fomenting trouble.

He promised that the police would remain neutral and not discriminate against any person or group of persons in the performance of their duties.

Mr Dzakpata said the Regional Election Task Force has been formed to ensure violent-free elections.

Mr Emmanuel Quaye-Sowah, the Regional Director of National Commission on Civic Education, asked party supporters to tolerate each other's views and desist from acrimony and insults.

He called on political parties to focus their attention on educating the people on how they would solve the country's educational, health and unemployment problems. Mr Sam Ntow Ayittey, the Regional Director of the Electoral Commission said the Commission would work harder to ensure free and fair elections in December.

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