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Ashanti Region: Voter Registration Violence Taskforce Set Up   
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A Regional Voter Registration Violence Taskforce has been set up by the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Nathan Kofi Boakye, to deal swiftly with all voter-registration-related crimes.

Also, armed police officers have been deployed to protect all the registration centres and district police commanders have been tasked to take charge of the centres.

The regional commander announced this when he met the leadership of political parties in the region to discuss issues hampering a successful registration process and also urge them to advise their supporters to be law- abiding.

Last Thursday, there were a lot of violent incidents in the region, including a case in which six machomen, armed to the teeth and riding on three motorbikes, stormed the Buorkrom registration centre in the Manhyia Sub-metro in Kumasi and destroyed all the registration materials and machines.

They also threatened to kill anyone who dared to intervene. It occurred around 2:30 p.m.

The police/political parties meeting was attended by the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by its regional chairman, Mr Yaw Obimpeh, and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) counterpart, Mr Bernard Bosiako.

Most of the district police commanders in the region were also present at the meeting.

Surprisingly and contrary to Mr Boakye’s caution that baseless accusations would not be tolerated, when the two chairmen were given the opportunity to make comments, they traded accusations, a situation which drew laughter from the gathering.

Headed by the Deputy Regional Police Commander, ACP Ampofo Duku, the Regional Registration Violence Taskforce has the mandate to investigate all registration-related crimes and violent acts and arraign the culprits.

“I have issued firm instructions to the police to use all necessary force to defend the registration centres. If any political party attempts to manhandle any of the men, then they have to manhandle me too,” Mr Boakye said.

He advised political parties to use the stipulated procedures and documents for challenging people suspected to be minors or non-Ghanaians and cautioned the leadership of the political parties that under his watch, the Ashanti Region would not be designated as the most violent area for political activities.

“Democracy is about law and order. The police are the fulcrum of law and order,” he said and added that they would, therefore, not sit unconcerned and watch a few Ghanaians take the law into their own hands, a situation that would dent the image of the police.

He said he was aware that some of his predecessors had paid dearly for the lawless behaviour of some political activists and sounded the caution that under his watch, lawless political activities would be met with the appropriate legal force.

Mr Boakye appealed to all, especially those who had been subjected to various forms of brutalities, to report to the police with their evidence for the necessary action to be taken, adding that they would not tolerate rumours and unfounded allegations that could not stand the test of the legal process.
Source: Daily Graphic

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