The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has commended the Inspector-General of Police for coming out with the specifications of the uniforms that would be worn by law officers in policing the 7 December 2020 polls but noted that each personnel must be properly identified.
A statement signed by Lt. Col. (Rtd) Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, Director of Operations of the NDC 2020 Campaign, said: “The NDC is of the view that the announcement on the authorised uniforms 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”.
“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 said.
Read it in full below:
PRESS STATEMENT ON SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS FOR DECEMBER 7TH POLLS.
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 by-election disgrace. We, therefore, commend the IGP and his staff on plans drawn by the National Election Security Task Force to sanitise 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 authorised uniforms 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.
This normal dressing requirement for all service personnel should be strictly enforced to assuage fears that some police uniforms being sewn will find their way into the hands of vigilantes/hoodlums recruited by the ruling party/government to intimidate and suppress voters in opposition strongholds.
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 by-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.
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.
Such additional measures, as the NDC has recommended, will serve to reassure the citizenry of a free and fair election.
We, therefore, urge the Inspector-General of Police to take serious note of our legitimate concerns and act upon them in the interest of public safety and a peaceful election.
Lt. Col. (Rtd) Larry Gbevlo-Lartey
Director of Operations
NDC 2020 Campaign