The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has welcomed the announcement by the Police administration that its personnel will provide security coverage for the 2020 elections under strict dress code, with mixed feelings.
In a statement released by the office of the NDC’s Director of Operations, Lt. Col. (Rtd) Larry Gbevlo Lartey, the Police was asked to go a step feather with the arrangements by directing all officers to be deployed to also wear name tags for easy identification.
It said the requested addition is to ensure that goons of the ruling party who are said to be sewing fake Police uniforms in order to deploy and cause mayhem can be spotlighted.
“The attention of the NDC has been drawn to a circular issued by the Inspector General of Police to the effect that only traditional Police uniforms would be worn on Election 2020 duties and related operations. According to the circular, traditional uniforms for this purpose will be “blue-black/black and camouflage uniforms”.
“The NDC believes that these measures derive from the lessons learnt from the embarrassment the Ghana Police Service suffered during the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye election disgrace. We therefore commend the IGP and his staff on plans drawn by the National Election Security Task Force to sanitize the security situation, maintain law and order on December 7 election day and ensure peace. However, the NDC is of the view that the announcement on the authorized uniform to be worn on D-Day will be inadequate without ensuring that all Police personnel and others drawn from other security agencies are properly identified with their names clearly displayed on their uniforms,” the statement said.
It added that the normal dressing requirement should be strictly adhered to forestall any attempts by NPP hoodlums from invading NDC strongholds to suppress voter turnout.
Indeed, the NDC takes seriously information making the rounds that persons other than genuine Police officers some of whom were described as National Security operatives who committed acts of brigandage during the Ayawaso West Wogon bi-election last year will be clothed in such Police uniforms to avoid detection.
“It is our contention that the wearing of name tag identification is the surest way to safeguard the integrity and image of the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies that will be deployed for Election Day security activities.”
The statement reminded at a recent meeting with National Security, the NDC also demanded that a register of Police deployees be compiled and made available to the parties.
“It is noteworthy that at a recent meeting of the Ministry of National Security and a delegation of the NDC, the latter made this same point because we are genuinely concerned about the likelihood of vigilante elements being paraded in Police uniforms to perpetrate acts of intimidation and brutality.
“At the same meeting, the NDC delegation also recommended that the Police administration should, for the sake of accountability and ease of reference, keep a register of all personnel who would be deployed at various locations on December 7th and make such a list available in case of any eventuality.”