General News of Thursday, 22 November 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Special task force to protect ballot boxes

The Police Administration has formed Ballot Boxes Security Task Force to protect the transportation of ballot boxes to and from polling stations.

The task force which forms part of the National Election Task Force would be assigned to all polling stations throughout the country to ensure the safety of the ballot boxes.

The Director General of Operations, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr John Kudalor announced this in Accra at a news briefing to inform the public about the preparations so far made by the Ghana Police Service to ensure peaceful elections come December 7, 2012.

He sounded a note of caution to anybody or group of persons who have any plans of snatching ballot boxes or have any plans to disturb the process to think twice because there would be no room for that to happen.

COP Kudalor said the police service had put in place a number of measures to ensure peaceful elections and are ready to deal drastically with such elements that plan to disturb the peace.

He hinted that reserve forces have been located at the various regional, divisional, and district headquarters as well as other strategic locations to move in to areas where disturbances may occur to restore law and order.

According to him experience from other parts of the world especially in Africa, has shown that elections have the potential of degenerating into violence if not properly planned and managed and the cost of such violence was unbearable.

He said it was therefore imperative that the preparations in the run up to the elections be sufficient enough to keep the country safe, peaceful and intact before during and after the elections.

He said the National Elections Task Force has been formed with the responsibility to plan, organise, implement, monitor and co-ordinate the preparations of security agencies to create a safe environment for elections to take place.

The Director General Operations indicated that a special elections secretariat had been established at the police headquarters in Accra to facilitate the planning process with a desk officer designated for planning.

He said as a result of the importance attached to the exercise, each member of the Headquarters Management and Advisory Board (HEMAN) had been assigned responsibility for a particular region to ensure that planning and execution of the operations in those areas are done efficiently.

“Conscious of the fact that the success of the operations depend on careful planning and co-ordination, a formula has been adopted to aid planning at all levels of command and the total number and location of polling stations, collation centres, flash points, the local electoral commission offices and local essential service installations have been identified,” he said.

COP Kudalor asserted, “ I am confident that with the preparations so far made and more importantly with God on our side we shall sail through this year’s elections once again without a hitch and Ghana once again will be victorious.