In order to maintain law and order at all times, including before, during, and after elections, the Ghana Police Service has urged both the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to focus on their respective political campaigns rather than interfering with police work.
Thus, the law enforcement organization has urged the two major political parties to back it up, including by offering constructive criticism, so that it can carry out its constitutionally mandated work professionally.
The Police Service has also appealed to Ghanaians for support in its efforts to create an autonomous Police force that will work for the country’s overall welfare rather than the interests of any one person or group of people.
The police made the appeal during a meeting with the NPP and NDC leadership on Monday, April 17, 2023, at the National Police Headquarters in Accra, regarding events on the political front.
The parties’ press releases and subsequent petitions to the Police Service, in which each party requested the Police to detain specific members of the other side for various purported crimes, were the catalysts for the meeting that the Inspector-General of Police summoned.
All parties had a chance to express their complaints at the meeting. Their main concern centered on remarks made by some political figures on both sides of the aisle that were deemed to be offensive.
The Police also gave them a briefing on two tactical measures the Police Administration had put in place to deal with situations involving elections and politics as part of their transformation program.
The Police took advantage of the opportunity to give a status report on political violence and related incidents that had been observed during the recent internal elections for both parties, including the arrest and prosecution of about 14 NPP members for disruptions during their Enchi constituency election and the arrest of 9 out of 16 people sought for disruptions at the NDC’s national youth and women organizer polls.
A progress update on cases involving the 2020 general election, including Techiman South and Odododiodio seats, was also given. The public will receive proper updates on these matters over the course of the coming week.
A statement issued by the Police after the meeting said: “The first strategic intervention shared with them is the establishment of the Police Election Security Secretariat to work with all political parties and other stakeholders to enhance the management of security for all elections in the country. This is a complete departure from the old order where an election security task force was put together just some months before the general elections. Since its creation over a year ago, the Police Election Security Secretariat has worked with the various political parties in their respective internal elections from the polling station, through the constituency to the national executive elections. The Secretariat is currently working with both parties on their parliamentary and presidential primaries.”
It added: “The second intervention is the setting up of a dedicated legal team to subject all politically related incidents to legal scrutiny to establish whether there are elements of crime or otherwise before any Police action is taken. The Police will therefore not intervene in any situation where there is no criminality involved.”
“In such instances when no concrete charges can be leveled against such people they are eventually released thereby creating the impression in the public domain as though the police were manipulated in effecting their arrests. This initiative has been used to analyze all recent cases such as comments made by the Hon. Minister of Food and Agriculture and the Constituency Youth Organiser for the NDC at Suame, among others.”
Read the full statement below: