The Minister for National Security, Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah has stressed that adequate measures are currently being instituted to ensure violent-free elections in December.
He assured Ghanaians that the National Election Security Task Force is ready to provide adequate security against potential electoral violence and all other acts of lawlessness.
“In the end, Ghana shall emerge victorious,” he said.
The Minister was addressing Parliament on the State of Security in Ghana where he indicated that as the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections approach, the country is confronted with a huge test in the area of election-related violence given the high stakes involved in competitive political contests in Ghana.
He said, even when there is a common goal to be pursued, the very nature of democratic politics creates disagreements resulting from political differences and interests of competing political parties.
However, he averred that the pursuit of one’s interest should not be allowed to deepen the political fault lines which when unchecked could degenerate into political instability.
“I therefore want to sound a clarion call to political parties and all other stakeholders to uphold unity as the ultimate value that should guide our actions before, during and after the December elections. Truly, it will be self-defeating and meaningless to pursue our political interests at the detriment of the State,” he said.
He mentioned that two days ago, there was a meeting with some notable security gurus within the National Democratic Congress (NDC) where both parties unanimously condemned the violent activities of the Western Togoland Restoration Front and further pledged to ensure a violence free election.
He also indicated that “I am similarly happy that the NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency who is reported to have made some disparaging comments insinuating violence, has since apologised for the comments and called for a peaceful election.”
He said, the country’s national security architecture has undergone significant reforms which are well expressed with the passage of a New Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 2020 (Act 1030) and accented by the President on 20th October 2020.
This new Act, which replaces Act 526(1996), he noted ushers in a new era of enhanced intelligence gathering, security coordination, analysis and efficient and timely dissemination of security and intelligence issues across all relevant security and intelligence agencies and actors.
He said, the Ministry has completed work on a new National Security Strategy for the country which will be published in the coming days. Being the first documented National Security Strategy since Ghana attained Independence, the strategy identifies current and future security threats and outlines measures to address the threats in order to safeguard the peace and stability of the country using a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach.
Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah mentioned that the proactive rather than the reactive nature of these measures means the security agencies are prepared to confront the threat of terrorism and any form of emerging security threats in the foreseeable future to make Ghana a safe country. He charged the ordinary citizens to complement all these efforts of the security and intelligence agencies by providing information to assist in confronting all threats to security in the country.
He also revealed that there is deliberate attempt by certain individuals to create a false notion of rising insecurity in the country.
“For instance, the evidence suggests a reduction in crime levels in the country. It is also important to state that Ghana’s commendable management of the COVID-19 pandemic was possible in part due to the effectiveness of the security coordination implemented by the State security architecture,” he said.
He also said, this false notion of insecurity stems from the deliberate politicization of issues of national security in the country and it has become more pronounced as we approach the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
“An assessment of recent developments in the political space reveals that the false notion of insecurity is fueled by some politicians. These politicians at one moment, openly threaten violence should they lose the elections and at another, express concern about rising insecurity in the country. This is unacceptable and must be condemned in no uncertain terms.”
Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah also pointed out that, despite the politicization of issues of national security which has the potential to undermine the efforts of State security agencies, state security actors have remained resolute in ensuring a peaceful and secured environment for all Ghanaians.
By PROSPER AGBENYEGA