Friday, October 7, 2016

81 Hotspots In N/R: Police On High Alert – DCOP Yeboah

DCOP Ken Yeboah

The Northern Regional Police Commander, DCOP Ken Yeboah, has indicated that his men and women are on high alert following the identification of 81 security hotspots in various constituencies in the region ahead of the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections.

He also stated that leadership of the various political parties in the country had denounced all identified vigilante groups affiliated to their parties. By the action of the leadership of the political parties, he said any so-called vigilante group that would cause trouble during the electioneering period would be dealt with.

Across the country, there are different vigilante groups which are offshoots of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the major opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). They are the Azorka Boys (NDC), Bolga Bulldogs (NPP), Aluta Boys (NDC), Kandahar Boys (NPP), Aljazeera Boys (NDC) and Invisible Forces (NPP).

These groups in the past and in recent times have been cited by the police to be behind violent crimes that often lead to the destruction of property belonging to their parties or certain individuals outside their parties. Usually, their activities reach tipping point during national and intra-party elections thereby leading to tension in the country.

Addressing a town hall meeting in Tamale, DCOP Yeboah admonished the youth of the various parties to conduct themselves very well devoid of violence ahead of the elections in order not to fall foul of the law.  

Organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) with funding support from the Ford Foundation, the meeting was under the theme: “Making Ghana’s 2016 Elections Peaceful –The Role of Stakeholders.”  The meeting was the first in a series of town hall meetings to be organised across the country in the run up to the December polls.

According to former Executive Director of the MFWA, Professor Kwame Karikari, the meeting was aimed at bringing together key institutions and individuals in the electoral process to discuss and agree on how to ensure that the 2016 elections are conducted in a peaceful manner.

He also explained that it was intended to create a platform for stakeholders particularly the police, Electoral Commission and NCCE to highlight interventions being put in place to ensure that the outcome of the 2016 elections was peaceful, credible and acceptable to all.

The Northern Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) Alhaji Abdul-Razak Saani noted that, his outfit had also identified 7 hotspots districts in the region citing Tamale, Yendi, Gusheigu, Bunkprugu-Yunoo and among others.

Prof. Kwame Karikari
He added that, since the beginning of the year till date, the NCCE had organised over 5,000 programmes towards ensuring peace and free and fair elections. “Over 17,000 citizens including senior high school students took part in these civic programmes”, he emphasised.

The Chairman of the National Peace Council Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante who chaired the meeting, charged residents of the Northern Region to value peace and guard it jealously from any form of danger.

He observed that, the quest for power by politicians should not be a basis for anyone to cause trouble that would jeopardise the peace being enjoyed by citizens particularly women and children who were the most vulnerable during war.  

The MFWA is a regional independent non-governmental organisation. It is the biggest and most influential media development and freedom of expression advocacy organisation in West Africa with national partner organisations in all 16 countries of the region.

The MFWA is also the Secretariat of the Continental Network of the most prominent Free Expression and Media Development Organisations in Africa, known as the Africa Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) network. In the last 18 years, the MFWA and its partners have successfully promoted freedom of expression rights, media professionalism and media-led advocacy for peace building, and participatory governance across West Africa.

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