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General News Wed, 13 Oct 2004

Police to be ruthless with troublemakers

Accra, Oct. 13, GNA - The Police Service on Wednesday said it would be ruthless with troublemakers, who would attempt to mar Elections 2004,

"We would use reasonable force within our powers to protect the integrity of the Police Service and the nation's democratic credentials, Assistant Superintendent of Police Jordan Quaye said at a political party youth forum in Accra.

The forum was organised by Youth-Network for Human Rights and Democracy (You-Net) to offer the youth wings of political parties a common platform to deliberate on national issues as well as present their agenda for the Election 2004.

Speaking on: "Youth Against Violence: Youth-Police Dialogue," ASP Quaye said the Police would be deployed throughout the country to maintain peace before, during and after the elections.

ASP Quaye, who is with the Community Policing Unit, re-affirmed the Police Service's determination to project a neutral and non-political allegiance in the discharge of their professional duties.

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He also urged the Media to avoid emotional reportage, crosscheck security related information with the appropriate agencies before going public and collaborate with State security and democratic agencies. He noted: "Pronouncement by Media practitioners, radio phone-in contributors and politicians most often have security implications...we are not at war, our speeches should, therefore, reflect a nation at peace."

ASP Quaye also cautioned Musicians, who projected and promoted violence through their songs, Religious Leaders, who used the pulpit to preach politics and Traditional Rulers who also openly demonstrated their political colours as dangerous phenomena.

Mr Pual Boama Sefa, Associate Executive Director of You-Net, called for a well-defined security arrangement for all political party activities especially at rally grounds.

He said the role of the Police was crucial towards the maintenance of peace and orderly elections and challenged the Police Officers to exhibit professionalism.

Mr Ludwig Hlodze, Deputy National Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the biggest challenge of the Police Service was its ability to demonstrate neutrality and swift response to investigate reported cases.

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He urged the Police to isolate and insolate itself from political manipulations and exploitation by politicians.

Mr Ken Nunoo, News Editor of the Evening News, appealed to the youth to exercise restraints, resist politicians, who exploited their youthful vulnerability.

He advised them to consider national interest instead of political party interest, "parties would come and go, but the nation would continue to be our only country".

Representatives of the New Patriotic Party, Convention People's Party, People's National Convention, Great Consolidated Popular Party, EGLE Party, the Media and Security Agencies attended the meeting.

Source: GNA