19 November 2012

Ghana: Deal Ruthlessly With Ballot Box Snatchers - Interior Minister Urges Security Agencies

The Interior Minister Mr. William Kwasi Aboah has called on the electoral security taskforce to deal ruthlessly with any macho man who would attempt to steal ballot box during December 7 general elections.

"Macho men and ballot box snatchers have no place in the election and you should not entertain any of them during the election", Mr. Aboah told the election taskforce when he inaugurated Central Region branch of the force on Thursday in Cape Coast.

According to the Interior Minister, snatching of ballot box was tantamount to armed robbery and it should not be entertained in any polling station by the security forces, who would be detailed to polling stations across the country during the election.

He said peace remained the foundation upon which any country's development is built, stressing that many police and other security personnel have over the years sacrificed their lives at the expense of the country's progress and tranquility which is highly commendable.

He went on to say that Ghana is highly regarded by the international community as a democratic state with respect to rule of law, media freedom and civil liberties, and urged the security personnel to work hard to maintain such feat.

The Minister continued that the destiny of the country was shrouded essentially in the level of security which would be provided by the security agents before, during and after the December election.

He, therefore, appealed to the security personnel to remain focus, resolute, firm and fair in dealing with every stakeholder irrespective of political affiliation or where the person comes from.

Mr. Aboah, while commending the security personnel for their immense contributions to the successful elections over the years, also warned them that every election has its own unique challenges therefore they should to be circumspect in planning and executing their duties to halt any violence that might erupt in their respective areas.

"The Better Ghana Agenda has pervaded every agency in respect of vehicles, equipment, state-of -the-art training facilities and programmes. I encourage you to always strive to ensure that your services commensurate with government's support and justify the level of the tax payer's money being used to compensate you," he said.

The Central Regional Police Commander, Commissioner of Police (COP) Stephen Andor-Kwoffie advised his men that the fact that they have been instructed to deal with macho men ruthlessly did not mean they should go round and arrest any macho man who is in a queue to disenfranchise them.

He said they should only arrest them when they cause disturbances at a polling station.

The occasion offered opportunity to the security personnel to ask questions bordering their minds with regard to the election.

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