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General News of Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Source: Graphic.com.gh

IGP, Muslim leaders confer on election 2016

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr John Kudalor, has indicated that the Police Administration has no intention of shutting down social media on the eve and the day of the general election.

According to him, the public had not given the police any reason to block any of the various social media platforms on December 7, 2016.

He said, however, that to ensure sanity and safeguard the peace of the country during the election period, the Police Administration would put in place measures to contain the use of the various social media platforms.

The IGP said this during an interaction with the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, and some Muslim leaders in Accra yesterday.

The meeting was part of the IGP’s dialogue series with stakeholders to solicit their support for peaceful elections.

Earlier this year, Mr Kudalor had announced, during an interaction with some senior media persons, that the Police Administration might block social media on the eve and the day of elections if that became necessary.

Subsequently, the IGP received a backlash from the public and some security experts who saw his intention as a threat to democracy.

Mr Kudalor said the 2016 elections were extremely crucial and the stakes very high for all. “The attention of the world shall be centred on Ghana and expectations from the security agencies are very high.”

He said the National Chief Imam’s voice on issues relating to peace, stability, growth and the development of the country had, over the years, made a positive impact.

Generally, Mr Kudalor said, the management of elections in Ghana was the responsibility of the Electoral Commission (EC), but that mandate could not be achieved without working with stakeholders.

“I can confidently say that the security agencies are ready to secure the elections. But we wish to remind all of us that peaceful elections are a collective responsibility,” he said, adding that the security agencies were fully prepared to assist the EC to conduct the 2016 elections by working with other stakeholders.

For his part, Sheikh Sharubutu, who spoke through an interpreter, thanked Allah for the peace in the country and pledged his support for the police.

He said one reason Allah created people with different religions was to enhance the ability of man to coexist peacefully "and not be at one another's throat".

He called for a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the upcoming general election.

Other Muslim leaders present also pledged their unflinching support for the police and entreated them to be impartial in their duty to maintain law and order before, during and after the elections.