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Paul Tawiah Quaye
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THE INSPECTOR General of Police (IGP), Paul Tawiah Quaye, has assured Ghanaians of a smooth registration exercise and secured polls in December, saying there is no cause for alarm.

He observed that even though there had been pockets of incidents with the biometric registration, it was not enough grounds to say the process was marred by irregularities.

The IGP was addressing a section of the media at the Dansoman Police Station where he ended his tour of five registration centres in Accra.

He called on all Ghanaians who had attained the voting age to endeavour to register.

The IGP observed that nobody could disenfranchise any citizen except one who did not register.

According to him, the police would treat electoral offenders equally, without fear or favour, sounding a strong warning to persons who would try to foment trouble at the various registration centres to desist from the act or face the law.

The IGP’s visit was coming on the heels of an open letter sent to President Atta Mills by the NPP Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, over the use of violence by NDC supporters at some registration centres.

In some instances, police chiefs had been found wanting, failing to take action against perpetrators of violence.

The IGP stressed that the police would ensure the arrest of perpetrators of violent acts for possible prosecution.

Mr. Quaye further assured the international community that the Ghana Police Service was capable and prepared to ensure peace before, during and after the December polls.

At the St. Kizito’s Catholic School at Nima in Accra, where the tour began, deputy head of the registration staff, Daniel Bissah told the IGP that there had been no incident at the centre except for the first day where there were a few misunderstandings between residents who had thronged the premises to register.

Averagely, he said, the centre registered about 120 persons a day.

At the Accra Technical Training College (ATTC) 1 Centre, head of the team, Patience Kusi said three days before the IGP’s visit, there was a huge commotion at the place and police had to come in to calm tempers.

When asked by the IGP if they felt threatened and needed police presence, she answered in the negative, adding that even though they needed safety, police presence was unnecessary.

The police chief interacted with residents who had then queued up and were waiting for their turn to register.

At the Tetegu-Oblogo Basic School Centre, the electoral staff had registered over 800 persons.

The electoral officer at the center, Simon Opoku Agyeman, said mostly persons living in other places within the Weija area came around to register, putting a strain on their resources.

He explained that out of the 1000 forms available, the centre was left with a little over a hundred, as it had registered 825 persons at about 11:00am.

He said after the 10-day registration-period at the Oblogo Centre, the team would move to the Methodist Church to register.

At Tech Farm Centre at New Weija-SCC, Richard Mintah Boateng, leader of the team, told the IGP and his entourage that a group of NDC faithful turned the centre into riot grounds last Saturday.

He explained that the norm was to form a queue outside.

Constituents were ushered in as the numbers reduced inside the compound, but a group of NDC youth who felt irritated by the arrangement forcibly opened the gate.

The confusion led to a temporary halt of the process until the police showed up. One officer was hurt in the process, he said.

The centre had problems as regards occasional break down of the machine and this delayed the process.

There had not been any problem at the Dansoman police station centre.
Source: Rocklyn Antonio/Daily Guide

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