Ghana’s police have teamed up with the military to provide a “five layer security force” as part of an effort to bolster security to ensure a peaceful general election Friday.
“We have managed to put together a very encompassing security arrangement in place to ensure that this very important election will come and go peacefully," said police spokesman Cephas Arthur.
“We are putting one unarmed security officer at the polling station to handle any security disturbance there,” continued Arthur. “The next tier is the Patrol Team who will move from one polling station to another. We also have the Reserved Unit, which has been attached to every district and region, and we also have the Action Unit. If these units can’t handle the situation then we will call in our friends from the military as the last resort.”
Arthur’s comments came after security personnel voted Tuesday to enable them provide protection against violence during the vote.
He said the police have been taking precautions to prevent any acts that could undermine the election as well as the country’s stability. He also said they are working with other security organizations to provide a formidable security arrangement for the election.
Arthur says the agencies are ready to protect prospective voters in the run up to the election.
But, some Ghanaians have expressed concern about possible violence during the vote despite a pledge by all of the presidential candidates to encourage their supporters to eschew violence.
Supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have clashed following accusations and counter accusations of intimidation and harassment during campaigns in the run up to the election.
“The campaign period also served as a test case and we are lucky to have recorded very minimal incidents," he said. "We recorded numerous incidents in the previous elections, but because this one has been secured, just a couple of them occurred. It has largely been very peaceful this time.”
He called on Ghanaians to have confidence in the police, saying they and other security systems have “been able to secure and deliver safely five different elections since 1992. We do it to the admiration of the world.”
Clottey interview with Cephas Arthur, Ghana police spokesman