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Polls record 34 isolated incidents — Police

BY: Mary Mensah

The Joint Operation Centre of the National Election Security Taskforce (NESTF) recorded 34 incidents nationwide at the close of polls Monday.

The incidents ranged from a civilian sighted driving a police vehicle in the Bono Region, a shooting incident in the Central Region to electoral officials tampering with ballot papers.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Director of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, Supt Mrs Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, said in spite of the pockets of incidents, the elections had been largely peaceful, with few reports of incidents of crime or interferences across the country.

In all, 17,027,641 people were certified to take part in yesterday’s polls in 38,622 polling stations in the 275 constituencies across the country.

Security agencies

The director said due to measures put in place and deployment of security agencies, the NESTF had projected zero incidents. However, it commended the public for their cooperation with pre-election security measures that were put in place and which were well executed on Election Day.

“The NESTF assures that all incidents of crime or interferences would continue to be investigated by due processes. Apart from seeking to punish the perpetrators, investigative reports will guide future elections,” Supt Abayie-Buckman said. 

On the issue of security presence at polling stations, she said the NESTF wished to state that over 90 per cent of all polling stations across the country were manned by fixed beat uniformed officers.

Officers deployed

Supt Abayie-Buckman said the officers were from the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Fire Service, the Ghana Prisons Service, the Ghana Immigration Service and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, with the remaining stations covered by patrol officers.

According to her, personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces were deployed as patrol or reinforcement officers only on Election Day, while officers of the National Intelligence Bureau also performed duties on the day but were as invisible as possible, as they were with the populace in civilian clothing.

Collation of votes

She said the NESTF continued to urge the public to be cooperative during this period of collation of votes.

At the close of the elections, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, instructed personnel to escort and guard the ballots at the  their peril from the polling stations to the constituency collation centres, as well as the regional collation centres.