Uphold unity to secure December 7 polls — National Security Minister

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman

The Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, has urged political leaders and Ghanaians in general to uphold the unity of the country as the ultimate value that should guide their actions to ensure peaceful December polls.

He said political actors and Ghanaians must refrain from divisive and hate speeches which could endanger the peace and security in the country.

He also urged politicians and the populace not to allow their political interests to override the interest of the state, warning that it would be self-defeating and meaningless to pursue their political interests at the detriment of the country.

"The pursuit of our interests should not be allowed to deepen the political fault lines which when not checked, could degenerate into political instability,” he said.

Stop fuelling false sense of insecurity

Speaking on the floor of Parliament yesterday, Mr Dapaah expressed worry at the false sense of insecurity being created by some individuals, especially political actors, prior to the general election contrary to the peace in Ghana. 

“There seems to be a deliberate attempt by certain individuals to create a false notion of rising insecurity in the country. The facts, however, run counter to this false notion. For instance, they (the facts) suggest a reduction in crime levels in the country,” he said.

He had appeared in the House together with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to brief the members of security arrangements being put in place to ensure violent-free polls.

False notion

The minister said an assessment of such claims showed that politicians who had been creating such false sense of insecurity were also culpable of threatening violence on their campaign podiums if they lost the election.

 “An assessment of recent developments that the police force face reveals that the false notion of insecurity is fuelled by some politicians.

“These politicians at one moment openly threaten violence should they lose the election and at another express concern about rising insecurity in the country.

“This is unacceptable and must be condemned in the most uncertain terms irrespective of where it is coming from,” he stated.

He gave an assurance that despite the false sense of insecurity, state security actors remained resolute to ensure a peaceful and secure environment for all Ghanaians before, during and after the December 7 elections.

He pointed out that democratic tendencies allowed disagreements but democratic means must as well be used to settle the differences.

He added that inasmuch as government was doing its best to ensure that the country remained intact before and after the elections, Ghanaians had to play their part by providing information to assist in confronting all threats to security in the country.

Also submitting a statement on the Floor of Parliament, the Inspector General of Police, Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, gave an assurance that the police, as required of them, would be professional on polling day to ensure the poll process was incident free.

Mr Oppong Boanuh, who is also the Chairman of the Election Security Taskforce, warned that anybody who disturbed the peace of the country would not be spared.

No intimidation

Commenting on the statement, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, urged that any person deployed to maintain peace on elections day should be properly identified.

"We are committed to peace and security of the country, but we will not accept intimidation in the name of national security," Mr Iddrisu stressed.

The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, called for the police to be at the forefront of security at the polling stations on voting day.