The National Elections Security Task Force has cautioned security personnel who will be deployed on December 7, 2016 not to take part in the administration of the elections.
“It is not your duty to check the voter ID cards of voters; it is not your duty to assist any person to vote or tell any person who to vote for. You should not do anything to suggest that you favour any political party or candidate,” the task force admonished security personnel.
A member of the task force, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Christian Tetteh Yohuno, gave the advice in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra last Saturday.
He explained that the deployment of the security personnel was to protect the process to be executed by the Electoral Commission (EC).
He said security personnel were also not to accept any gifts and favours from any stakeholder in the elections, as the personnel would be taken care of by the task force.
Mr Yohuno, who is the Director-General of Police Operations, explained that accepting such offers could be interpreted as attempts to influence the personnel.
He said security personnel were not to leave the polling stations during the voting, counting and declaration of results on election day.
He further reminded them not to go to the polling stations drunk.
Mr Yohuno said deployment of security personnel would be done at the Black Star Square in Accra on December 5, 2016 to all the regions where the regional security task forces would further deploy them to the divisions and districts.
He explained that there would be a four-tier deployment before, during and after the elections.
According to him, there would be deployment to the polling stations, patrols, rapid response and reserve forces at the national, regional and district levels, in line with the National Operations Order of the Elections Security Task Force.
He said the military would be on standby and would only be involved to assist when the police were overwhelmed.
He said the security agencies involved in the elections security project would be using anti-riot equipment such as truncheons, shields, tear gas and water canons to deal with any electoral violence.
He said the security personnel would focus more on the maintenance of law and order at the polling stations, protection and the conveyance of ballot boxes.
“At least one security person will be at a polling station, while at least two others will be at each of the hotspots identified by both the police and the EC,” he said.
Mr Yohuno said from December 5, 2016, patrols would be intensified throughout the country to reassure Ghanaians that everything was under control.
He explained that the patrols would seek to deal with any attacks emanating from jubilations and ballot box snatchers and deal immediately with trouble at the hotspots.
The hotspots, he explained, had been catalogued based on chieftaincy, land guards and heightened political tension due to the competitiveness of elections in those areas.
Mr Yohuno advised the electorate to go home or their workplaces after casting their ballots, saying they could return after 5 p.m. to witness the counting of the ballots.
He explained that all the political parties would have their agents at the polling stations to superintendent over the parties’ interests, hence there would be no need for the electorate to mass up while the voting took place.
He said for those who would want to monitor the process, they must keep the requisite distance as spelt out by the EC.
Mr Yohuno appealed to the political parties and the candidates not to bus prospective voters to the polling stations.
He explained that the bussing of voters to polling stations had the tendency to arouse suspicion and tension and, thereby, fuel conflict.
He urged voters not to attempt to form queues by using objects and also not to attempt to jump the voting queues.
Source: Daily Graphic