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General News of Tuesday, 16 August 2016


There will be firm security at all polling stations - Police

The Police Administration has said it considers all the 29,000 polling stations across the country as potential flash points as the nation gears up for elections later this year.

It said, however, that 5,000 of them were traditional hot spots that needed to be watched more carefully.

Accordingly, the Police Administration said it would ensure that there was firm security at all polling stations.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic at the Police Headquarters in Accra on Monday, the Director-General in charge of Police Operations, Commissioner of Police (COP) Christian Tetteh Yohonu, said contrary to expectation, some areas noted to be trouble spots did not record any violent incidents in the last elections.

Flash points

On the other hand, he said areas that were considered to be free from anxiety, rather recorded several breaches of the law, adding that incidents of violence had been recorded at different times at different places.

He said the police picked up intelligence during the recent voters register exhibition exercise, regarding where there could be political tension that could lead to disturbances and this was serving as a guide to planning a course of action to stem election violence.

Under the circumstance, COP Yohonu said the police were putting in place comprehensive security strategies to deal with any difficult situations that might arise on the day of election and would as well provide more security detail at areas noted for trouble.

The police operational commander said troubled areas would be zoned into smaller units to ensure quick and easy access to them, and in addition, mobile and foot patrol teams would be assigned to those areas.

He said police intelligence would also be activated in the identified troubled areas to pick up information for quick response.

Vigilante groups

On vigilante groups, COP Yohonu said the police considered them as having been outlawed and would, therefore, deal decisively with any group or groups that would attempt to disturb the peace.

He said following the by-election at Talensi, the Police Administration had a series of meetings with the heads of political parties, as well as leaders of some identifiable groups, who assured the police that they would not engage in any acts likely to cause trouble and they had signed an agreement to that effect with the police.

He said the presidential candidates of the various political parties had been provided with four police guards each and so there was no need for them to engage vigilante groups for protection, while their running mates had two each.

He assured the country of the commitment of the security agencies to ensure that there was peace before, during and after the elections.