Ghana’s government has assured the United States as well as foreign nationals living in the country of improved security ahead of the Supreme Court ruling over the electoral challenge.
“President [John Dramani] Mahama has on many platforms assured of the safety of Ghanaians and all people living in Ghana in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling,” said deputy information minister Felix Ofosu-Kwakye.
“Indeed over the last few weeks, the security agencies have carried out a number of drills and exercises aimed at instilling public confidence in their ability to manage whatever fallout may come out of the Supreme Court ruling.”
The Supreme Court has scheduled an August 29 date to hand down its ruling on the political opposition’s challenge of President Mahama’s victory in the December 2012 presidential vote.
“The government of Ghana believes strongly that there would be no trouble after the verdict of the Supreme Court is announced,” said Ofosu-Kwakye. “The government has put in place adequate security measures to ensure that anybody who may want to take advantage of the situation to foment any form of trouble is quickly apprehended, and dealt with according to the dictates of the law.”
The chiefs of security agencies recently briefed Mahama about their readiness and measures taken to address possible tension and violence.
“President Mahama conveyed his satisfaction with the arrangements that have been put in place by the security agencies to ensure the continuous safety of Ghanaians and all those who live in the country,” said Ofosu-Kwakye.
His comments followed a U.S. embassy statement about possible reactions to the Supreme Court ruling.
“U.S. citizens in Ghana should avoid the offices of political parties, Ghana’s Supreme Court, the buildings of other institutions associated with the elections, and all political rallies…,” the embassy statement said. “We recommend that U.S. citizens in Ghana monitor the local news and avoid all demonstrations, as even those intended to be peaceful may suddenly turn violent.”
Ofosu-Kwakye says the government does not expect any violence in the run up to the Supreme Court ruling, but adds that adequate security preparations have been made to maintain the country’s peace.
“We believe that the U.S. embassy, like all other embassies and missions in Ghana, have taken notice of these preparations, and are aware by the commitment made by the government of Ghana to guarantee the safety of all who are living in Ghana,” he said. “But more importantly, I think our record as a nation speaks for itself. We have held six elections since 1992 and on all those six occasions we have come out unscathed.”
Clottey interview with Felix Ofosu-Kwakye, Deputy information minister