The Ghana Police Service has established an Election Security Secretariat to work with all political parties and other stakeholders to enhance the management of security for all elections in the country.
This is a complete departure from the old order where an election security task force was put together just some months before the general elections.
Since its creation over a year ago, the Police Election Security Secretariat has worked with the various political parties in their respective internal elections from the polling station, through the constituency to the national executive elections.
Inspector-General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare disclosed this during a meeting with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over recent happenings on the political front.
The meeting was necessitated by press statements issued by both parties and subsequently followed by petitions to the Police Service with each party calling on the Police to arrest certain individuals of the other side for some alleged offences.
The NDC petitioned the Police Service to arrest Abetifi MP Bryan Acheampong for claiming that the NPP will never hand over power to the NDC.
The NPP after the NDC petition followed up with a similar petition calling on the Police to arrest former President John Mahama over some incendiary comments he had made in the past.
Both parties were given the chance to voice their concerns, with the main issue raised being inflammatory comments by political actors on both sides.
Dr Dampare noted that the Secretariat is currently working with both parties on their parliamentary and presidential primaries.
He also announced the setting up of a dedicated legal team to subject all politically related incidents to legal scrutiny to establish whether there are elements of crime or otherwise before any Police action is taken.
He stated that the Police will therefore not intervene in any situation where there is no criminality involved.
The IGP explained that this is a paradigm shift from the practice in the past where people were arrested in the heat of the moment for politically related incidents as a result of attempts by politicians on either side to whip up public sentiments against the police..
This he said created the impression that the Police supports one side against the other saying in such instances when no concrete charges can be levelled against such people they are eventually released which creates the impression in the public domain as though the police were manipulated in effecting their arrests.
Parties urged to support the Police
With these new policing interventions in place, both parties were urged to focus on politics and allow the police to do their job.
The police also provided an update on recent incidents of political violence and related cases such as the status of the 2020 General Election-related cases including the Techiman South and Odododiodio Constituencies.
They also gave an update on the status of political violence and related incidents recorded during the recent internal elections of both parties including the arrest and prosecution of some 14 members of the NPP for disturbances during their constituency election at Enchi and the arrest of nine out of the 16 individuals wanted for disturbances at the National Youth and Women’s Organizer polls of the NDC at Cape Coast.
Dr Dampare promised to make the findings so far made known to the public in the course of the week.
The police urged the two contending parties to support them their efforts, including through constructive criticism, to maintain professionalism and fulfill their constitutional mandate.
They also called on the populace to support the building of an independent Police Service that serves the greater good of the people.
Police committed to ensuring peace and security
The police administration reiterated their commitment to ensuring peace, security, law, and order in the country before, during, and after all elections.
Overall, the meeting was seen as a step towards resolving politically related incidents in the country and ensuring a peaceful election process.