Mr Prosper Bani, the Minister of the Interior, has stated that vigilante groups are illegal and have no rudimentary laws to exist in Ghana.
He said any individual caught disturbing the forthcoming electoral process would be dealt with according to the laws of the land. “When they disturb the electoral process, the law will deal with them.”
The Minister said the security forces did not identify vigilante groups with any political party and any individual carrying him or herself as a member of vigilante group trying to disturb the peace before, during and after the general elections would be arrested and processed for court.
Mr Bani, was addressing the media at the Ministry’s turn of the Meet-the-Press series in Accra.
He advised the media to stop mentioning the names of vigilante groups because the more their names were mentioned, the more they would be deceived that they are legalised.
“Do not mention even their names because the more you do so, you are legitimising their existence,” he stated, and called on the public to expose strange characters in their communities to security officers for prompt action.
Mr Bani said the security forces were adequately trained and they were ready to combat any eventuality should the need arise and urged the public to have trust in institutions mandated to ensure peace during the electoral period.
He said the protection of voting materials would be done by identified security officers who would be ordered to do so and advised the public or any group of people to stay away from that duty.
“Security forces in conjunction with the political parties and the Electoral Commission has come out with strategies to combat any mischief,” he said, and called on the public to assist in combating the situation by reporting the perpetrators to the authorities.
He said the security forces had identified 5,003 hotspots and had strategised to respond to those hotspots.
Mr Bani announced that all Presidential candidates and their Vice presidential candidates would be provided with trained police officers to provide them with security.
“We have met with the Catholic Bishops Conference, Christian Council, Muslim Community and traditional rulers to deliberate their roles to ensure peace in this year’s elections,” he stated. “We will be meeting the youth groups as well”.
On political prophesies by some pastors, the Minister urged them to temper their voices with some peace to ensure that continuous peace prevailed in the country.
The Minister reiterated the earlier promise by President Mahama that social media would not be banned on the day of the elections and gave the assurance that the electoral process would be open, transparent and free and it would be made available to the public as well as the media.
He, however, advised the media to avoid the fantasy on the day of the election and always work with facts.
Answering questions on the security preparation for the media, he assured the media of enough protection and urged them to behave themselves well in order not to abuse that provision.
Mr Bani also announced that the Electoral Commission would engage the media to exchange ideas on media operations and urged Editors of media houses to be present at such engagements to bring their input to the discussions.
The Controller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service, Mr Felix Yaw Sarpong, said through the help of the Ghana Armed Forces, the Border Patrol Team were trained who were trained were ready to man the country’s borders before, during and after the elections.
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