The police spokesman in Ghana says over 30,000 officers have been deployed in sensitive and strategic locations across the country ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday on the validity of the country’s 2012 presidential election.
Cephas Arthur says officers have been well briefed to enforce the country’s laws to maintain peace after the court hands down its ruling.
“According to the police administration, every police officer in the country will be on duty as far as the verdict of the court dispute is concerned,” said Arthur. “Everybody has been adequately briefed as to what to do and what to expect. We are also going to have those who are going to be on the standby to be called upon to manage rioting situations and others.”
Arthur says the mass deployment demonstrates the readiness of police officers to maintain law and order.
“We want to assure the people of Ghana that their police are up and doing. They are adequately prepared mentally, logistically and even in terms of training. And that they [the public] can rely on their police service to provide security, prevent the occurrence of crime and when possible, when they occur they will be on hand to quell them,” said Arthur. “We are calling on them to exercise patience and keep cool and provide support for the police.”
Citing voter alleged irregularities, the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) petitioned the court seeking to annul President John Dramani Mahama’s electoral victory in the December 2012 presidential vote.
The Supreme Court plans to hand down its ruling of the electoral challenge today (Thursday).
Arthur underscored the importance of protecting the country’s leaders as well as sensitive installations.
“We are going to have those who are going to provide security to vulnerable persons and vulnerable areas. By that we mean very important personalities in the society, it could be the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, it could also be the lawyers of the two factions in court and it could be the judges who are adjudicating in this case,” said Arthur. “We are also talking about [protecting] vital installations like power stations, Bank of Ghana, Electoral Commission and other places.”
Religious and civil society groups have called for peace in the run up to the court ruling.
Arthur says senior police officials have been working with religious leaders as well as supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition NPP as part of an effort to ensure peace.
“For the first time the police have gone into a kind of pacifist approach towards provision of security. Where we have met some identifiable groupings or stakeholders, including the Islamic community, the Christian Council, the National House of Chiefs, the National Peace Council, the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Interior and the National Media Commission, the Youth of the NDC and the NPP to discuss the best way of doing this such that we don’t create a situation, which will demand the deployment of the forces,” said Arthur.