Various security organizations in Ghana are expected to
begin meeting today (Wednesday) to map out strategies to ensure the December
general election is not marred by violence. Top security chiefs in the country
are expressing optimism about their preparedness to ensure a peaceful
election, adding that they would be planning a mock exercise as part of an
overall strategy to contain any possible violence. President John Kufuor's
government said Wednesday's meeting forms part of the government's commitment
to entrenching democracy. The government also said it has adequately financed
the independent electoral commission to organize a credible election on
Agyekum is the government's spokesman on governance. From the capital, Accra he
tells reporter Peter Clottey that the security agencies are determined to
ensure voters are protected during and after the general election.
"The objective of the
meeting is for all security agencies in the country to coordinate their efforts
towards the election. They want to test their state of readiness in covering
the election. Indeed after this meeting, they are going to have a mock
rehearsal as to what would happen in case of violence or any untoward happening
should occur. It is one more of the readiness of the security agencies and of
government to ensure that we have a peaceful run of elections and also after
the election to ensure that there is no mishap to mar the election," Agyekum
He said President Kufuor's
government is committed to a peaceful election.
"The government has given
its commitment towards ensuring a free vote. Those pockets of violence are
regrettable and they are things that shouldn't have happened. However, they
have happened and the fact that it has not escalated and as you would realize
we try to keep it down. And as we speak now, we can't report of any violence
anywhere. So, it is just another demonstration of how committed the government
is trying to ensure a peaceful election," he said.
Agyekum said all political
parties participating in the election are determined to ensure their partisans
desist from violence during the election.
"The president has given his
word and the candidates have given their word. And so we are all trying very
hard to ensure that we have a peaceful election this year," Agyekum noted.
He said the government has
invited international election officials to observe the general election.
"To demonstrate its
commitment to peace, the government said it is prepared to bring in foreign
observers to monitor the election to ensure that we have a peaceful run. And
this is to ensure that the government is opening its doors to the international
community just to give the assurance that there is no hanky panky dealings
taking place," he said.
Agyekum said the electoral
commission has been well funded to carry out its mandate of ensuring a fair
"As you know, the government
has provided the electoral commission with all the funds that it requires. So
that the electoral commission wouldn't be found wanting in terms of its ability
in the conduct of the election. So, far we can give the assurance that the
government is very committed to peace and we know that Ghana is being looked
upon by the whole world and most, especially most African countries to follow
the path. We know we've been trailblazers in this democratic process. We don't
want to lose that and we are looking to even better than what we have done
before," Agyekum noted.
He said the government is
sure of the organizational ability of the electoral commission to ensure a
"We have no doubt about the
electoral commission's capacity to run the election. They've done it four times
and each time they've improved upon the first one that they've held and I'm
sure that this one would be an improvement of what they did in the last
election," he said.
Agyekum said there seems to
be a dramatic ease in both political and ethnic tensions ahead of the election.
"I see a lessening of
tension because just about a week or so ago, we held the first presidential
debate where all the four leading candidate did participate. After that editors
from carious news media organizations also held another session for the
presidential candidates to meet and interact and share their vision for the
country for the people. And I'm saying that all these things are going to help
to reduce tension in the country because the so-called masses begin to see
their leaders interacting and sharing jokes on stage and that goes down to all
of them to know that we are one people, and we are contesting for the best
ideas and we are not at not at each others throat," Agyekum pointed out.