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Political parties denounce vigilante youth groups- police reveal


The vigilante and militant youth groups who pay allegiance to the various political parties in Ghana and who chose to engage in all manner of violence during the presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7, will have themselves to blame, police have served strong notice.

This is because, their own political parties leadership have denounced them in a communique issued and signed by leaders of the political parties at the end of a two-day workshop on violence in elections organized by National Small Arms Commission and the Ghana Police service held at Ada in the Eastern Region.  

The 15-point communiqué which was signed by the leadership of all the political parties decried any violent behavior during the elections. They also unanimously reject all forms of political violence.

The political parties actions follow a series of meetings with the top brass of the Ghana Police Service as part of efforts to ensure incident free elections.

Unauthorized election monitors made up mostly of party boys during election day especially in areas the police and the electoral commission deem to be flash points will also come to an end.

The Northern Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Ken Yeboah, on Friday at joint meeting with journalists and some minor political parties in Tamale, warned Azoka boys, Bamba and Kadaha boys to be wary that they will be held solely responsible for their actions if they engage in any violent behavior during the elections.

“If your father disowns you and you go and commit a crime, can your father come back and said you are his son?” DCOP Ken Yeboah asked.

Representatives from the CPP, PPP, PNC, NDP and ACP who attended the meeting pledged to ensure peace before, during and after the December polls. Conspicuously missing was the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) who has been accused by many Ghanaians of being behind most of the political violence.

When journalists demanded answers from the police reasons for the two parties absence, they were told that the NDC regional chairman and secretary were in Accra and couldn’t attend.

The opposition NPP on other hand reason said they were attending a funeral and wanted the meeting to be postponed. DCOP Ken Yeboah also warned political commentators to be mindful of their comments that has the potential of plunging the region into chaos.

The police commander told the political parties that, the police will religiously apply the public order act and it will be first come first serve in order to prevent clashes during campaigns.

DCOP Yeboah also explained that the Election Task force committee have been segmented with different roles to deal with any election related issues.
At the police headquarters, there will be what he called a joint operation center where journalists can seek further clarifications on elections stories they will be putting out to the public.

This year’s election is unique because the ruling party is seeking a mandate from the people to complete its second term while the opposition parties are calling for change. But in all of this, the ultimate winner should be the country.

Caution to media owners

The police also sounded a strong warning to journalists, host of talkshows and owners of media houses to be very careful about their activities.

Mr Yeboah who also chairs the regional security task force reminded media practitioners that, panelist, host and owners risk being hauled before the apex court of the land if they allow unsavory comments on their airwaves.
The police reminded media houses and media practitioners about the volatile nature in the region and call for circumspection in their reportage.

Security for presidential candidates
All the presidential candidates in the December elections according to DCOP Ken Yeboah have been provided with police officers trained for such purposes and they will be with them.

He again assured that, security will be provided to all political parties and urged the parties to inform the police about their activities. He, however, cautioned the parties to desist from stretching the police tentacles even after explanations have been offered.

Voluntary surrender of firearms in exchange of cash

No single person in the northern region has voluntarily submitted a weapon in exchange of cash despite government announcement that residents in the northern region (Dagbon, Nanumg and and Mamprigu), DCOP Yeboah said.

The government’s announcement was to get rid of illegal arms in the possession of civilians which they use to commit murders in chieftaincy clashes.
He however insisted that, the ban on possession or trading of arms in Dagbon is still in place and anyone found will be dealt with.

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