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19.11.2004 Regional News

Ashanti Security Task Force to ensure security during 2004

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Kumasi, Nov 19, GNA - The Ashanti Region Security Task force has initiated effective security to enable voters exercise their franchise freely, fairly and peacefully in the 2004 General Election.

Mr Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Chairman of the Task force, gave the assurance when explaining modalities of its operations in the region in Kumasi on Friday.

He was speaking at a meeting with party representatives and members of the Task Force, established to ensure security in all the 39 constituencies in the region in the December 7 polls.

Mr Gyeabour said security personnel would be deployed to all polling stations to maintain law and order during the polls. He dispelled rumours that party security personnel were being trained to operate at poling centres.

Mr Gyeabour gave the assurance that only the police would be at polling stations and that the military might be requested for reinforcement if necessary.

He said a standby contingent would beef up security in trouble-prone areas, warning that the police would deal drastically with any persons who would be caught engaging in activities that could negatively affect the election.

Mr Gyeabour also promised that officers of the Electoral Commission (EC) and electoral materials dispatched to polling stations would be protected.

He, therefore, appealed to the general public to report all electoral incidents that might occur to the nearest police station. Lieutenant-Colonel George Biah, commanding Officer of the Fourth Battalion of Infantry, who is also member of the Task force, reiterated that his men would be assist the police only in emergency cases.

He, however, said they would undertake patrols to nip in a bud any acts of mayhem that might erupt.

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