The Ghana Police Service says it has identified over five thousand potential flash point in the forthcoming elections which must be managed to prevent any form of violence.
The Director General of the Police Criminal Investigations Department, Proper Kwame Ablorh made the observation on behalf of the Inspector General at a national Colloquium on peaceful elections organized by the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
The Police revealed that the proliferation of Small Arms within the country coupled with terror activities across the region and Chieftaincy disputes have been identified as easy triggers for violence.
“The EC has indicated that 81 out of the 275 constituencies in Ghana are potential hotspots. However, the Ghana Police Service has identified over five thousand polling stations as potential hotspots.
“The proliferation of illicit arms in the country, the existence of numerous land and Chieftaincy disputes, the prevalence of terror activities in some neighbouring countries of our region all serve as triggers for violence and therefore pose real threats to the 2016 general elections, the Director General of the Police CID noted”
He said it was against this background, that the National Election Security Architecture was activated earlier this year – January,20, 2016 to plan for the 2016 general elections in respect of security concerns.
Meanwhile, Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, has sounded the alarm bell, cautioning that the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections could be marred by violence, if not managed carefully, because the current political environment is hostile.
She cautioned Ghanaians against any form of complacency on the basis of the success of previous elections.
“In Ghana, the history of six successful elections in the past 24 years should not become the basis for complacency because we seem to have an increasingly volatile political culture. Among the 25 registered political parties that we have in Ghana, we have two strong ones that seem to dominate our political landscape. We are going into elections where one party believes it must win and the other believes it cannot lose.
However, it’s a contest where there is going to be one winner and many losers. So in spite of all the preparations and the experience we have, this election is beginning to look like a volatile event,” she stated yesterday.