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09.11.2004 Regional News

IGP urges Police Officers to rise above parochial interest

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Tamale, Nov. 9, GNA - Nana Owusu-Nsiah, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), on Monday asked police personnel to rise above parochial interest and uphold their commitment to duty.

He warned security agents posted to Tamale and other conflict areas in the Northern Region to handle their assignments with care and dispatch.

The IGP was speaking at a forum organised for representatives of political parties, traditional rulers, the clergy, Muslim and youth leaders, officials of the Electoral commission (EC) and the National commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to discuss peace and security in the Tamale Metropolis.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah called on the Police to be politically neutral adding Ghanaians and reminded them that the international community would assess their overall efficiency and professionalism by their performance during the 2004 Election.

He said: "By the nature of our profession, we are not permitted to engage in partisan politics and we should not allow our relatives to openly campaign or display party posters and banners at the barracks." Nana Owusu-Nsiah urged the EC to provide adequate electoral materials on time and at the right place at all polling stations during the elections and said shortages of such items could create problems for security officers who would be tasked to ensure law and order on that day.

The IGP advised that party vans should not be allowed to convey electoral materials since that could create grounds for suspicion. He called on the NCCE and party executives to educate the electorate on electoral laws and regulations towards smooth, free and fair elections.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah expressed worry that in the past some politicians created confusion so that they could cheat their opponents by misinterpreting electoral laws and rules to people, especially those in the rural areas.

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