Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (“CARE” GHANA), a Civil Society Organization (CSO) has charged the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) to make adequate provision of nose mask and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) a necessity and available at all polling stations on December 7 to help protect voters and election officers from contracting the COVID-19.
The call was made at a press conference organized by “CARE” GHANA on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, to promote peaceful, sound and healthy elections devoid of any attack(s) of COVID-19 on Ghanaians.
David Kumi Addo, the Executive Secretary of “CARE” GHANA who addressed the media said the move is to help prevent any attempt by EC officials or security officers from turning away eligible voters who may not be wearing face-covering or nose masks when they attend the polling centres to cast their ballot.
He added that it is also to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus as people queue to vote and observe during counting periods.
“As we know, the second wave of COVID -19 is on the surge, especially in Europe and America. Just when we thought we had won the battle against COVID-19 the world was becoming overwhelmed by the second wave of this deadly virus. While America and some European countries record increasing numbers of infections, coronavirus related death has hit higher numbers across the globe”.
“As Ghana goes to the polls on 7th December 2020 to elect a new government, it is very necessary for us to put proper preparation in place to ensure maximum protection of lives during and after the elections,” Mr Kumi stressed.
With barely a few days more for Ghanaians to go to the polls, the stakes are high coupled with lots of agitations and confusion brewing among the security services which is seething anger with the ranks.
But “CARE” GHANA” has waded into the controversies raising issues about actions of the leadership of the security services who they claim are directing security officers to be posted to opposition strongholds on elections on the pretext of maintaining law, peace and order but rather a "ploy to intimidate and harass innocent voters as was done during the voters registration exercise."
“We are reliably informed that some leadership of the security services have directed security officers posted to opposition strongholds on elections day to intimidate and harass innocent voters as was done in the registration exercise”.
“Whiles many regular well-trained security officers feel their duty and responsibility does not allow them to create confusion but to protect lives, limbs and property others are willing to comply. This development is creating some anxiety and misunderstanding among the security officers and badly affecting morale”.
Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana is therefore calling on all security officers who are being deployed to ignore such directives from their leadership with an assurance of their full support as well as that of the general public on the elections day to ensure peaceful and transparent polls.
“We encourage them to positively defy this wicked and nation-wrecking directive from their superiors”.
“Our men in uniform should know that the ammunition given to them is the property of the Ghanaian people procured with the taxpayer's money for the purposes of protecting and not to hurt, or maim the citizenry; to protect our young democracy not to subvert it; to maintain law, peace and order but not create lawlessness, disorderliness and insecurity”, the “CARE GHANA” boss disclosed in a statement.