Supt. Lanchene Toobu (Rtd) who is the spokesperson on Security for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said the Ghana Police Service (GPS) should not carry guns to polling stations.
This statement is in relation to the survey conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) about the threat of vigilantism in Ghana and the 62,794 police officers who will be dispatched to be on guard during the elections.
According to him, Police Officers at polling stations are to provide a conducive environment for the voters to vote not to create tension. “Already, the presence of men in uniform is a threat to many people. Adding arms to the uniform will just scare people which might even prevent others from coming close to the polling stations’’.
In an interview with Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show aired on Happy 98.9 FM and e.TV Ghana, he indicated that arming security personnel at polling stations will only tell Ghanaians the Electoral Commission (EC) is insecure about peace prevailing in the upcoming elections”.
Citing a typical instance where the EC is causing unnecessary panic he said, “the EC boss Mrs Jean Mensa should be able to walk around freely in the country without parading around with security officers. That way, people can approach her freely but if she’s always with police officers this just shows that she’s insecure and if the Commissioner displays insecurity, then my grandfather in the village should be insecure too” he said.
He ended by saying “it’s the responsibility of the police to ensure that people are safe in the environment where they’ll be casting their vote” and to do this, the police has to ensure that the people actually feel that safety and being armed instead of making them feel safe will just cause some more fear.