Emile Short Commission: ‘We did not anticipate violence’ - DCOP Adusei Sarpong
The Greater Accra Regional Commander, DCOP Patrick Adusei Sarpong has said that, the police did not anticipate violence at the just ended Ayawaso West Waguon by- elections.
According to him, the chaos that occurred near the polling grounds was not anticipated considering the police service was adequately prepared for a violent free election which is what they worked towards.
His men, he insists were psyched for any occurrence of violence between opposition political parties at the polling grounds and were adequately prepared to deal with such instances if any took place.
“The measures I put in protected the NDC and NPP from engaging in any clash and that wasn’t the situation. The measures we put in were to ensure there was no clash between party supporters to disrupt the election process”.
DCOP Adusei Sarpong maintained that the security for the electoral process was adequate and undisrupted. Per their understanding, security for the elections includes ensuring the safety of voters and a peaceful electoral process, which was guaranteed considering there was no chaos between voters and all other electoral processes were safeguarded.
“There may have been some violence but it was not about polling or the people who had queued having a misunderstanding, nor the ballot box or verification which is part of the polling process”, he stated.
As far as security was concerned, it was adequate”, he added
“Election security is about making sure that people who want to vote are able to vote. We said no violence, there should be free, fair and peaceful elections and that was what we worked towards and that was what we worked for”.
Contrary to reports, that past by- elections are normally characterized by violence and melees, the Regional Police Commander said the security provided by the police on the day was enough for those who were there to vote.
“For every police station, there were at least four personnel, in a few cases three”.
"The security that we put in place was enough for everybody to be at the polling station and to vote" because the NDC parliamentary candidate we are talking about was not attacked by the people who had lined up to vote.
“I talk of two teams, the electoral patrol team which was the immediate team to support the polling stations to ensure that the polling stations were protected and voters were also protected. I also talk of the general patrol teams who were supporting, all these measures I believe were adequate to ensure that polling was successful”.
The commander insisted that, the police service delivered security for everyone despite reports of violence at the la Bawaleshie school
"We put in adequate measures to ensure that if you intended to vote, you were protected to vote and i only got to know of the incident after it had happened" he said