The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) organises seminar on the upcoming general elections
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The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has held a seminar on the upcoming elections at the Garrison Methodist Presbyterian Church on Sunday 24 March, 2024.

The seminar was on the theme: “The Role of Security Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, Electoral Commission, and the religious Community in Safeguarding the Peace, Enhancing Security, and Ensuring a Peaceful 2024 General Elections in Ghana”.

Moderator for the seminar, Brigadier General Fred Ntiri, indicated that advancement of technology has made it easy to access information whereas posing serious security threat. He alluded to misinformation, hate speech, sensational reportage and mistrust in electoral processes as actions that have the tendency to negatively affect the peace of the country.

The Commandant KAIPTC, Major General Richard Addo Gyane said it behooved on KAIPTC to be fair and neutral in matters of peace, security and conflict resolution. He quoted the late Kofi Annan as saying, “Credible elections has to meet three essential criteria; inclusiveness, transparency and accountability”. This, he noted, was the only way to win the trust of the competitors and the public on voting.

He stated further that Ghana has achieved international accolade as a beacon of peace and regarded as a thriving democracy after successfully organizing eight parliamentary and presidential elections since 1992.

Maj Gen Gyane, however, indicated that election related violence has always marred the beauty of the electoral processes thereby affecting peace and tranquility of the country. He therefore   urged all Ghanaians to put the country first in all their dealings in the upcoming general elections.

Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Serebour Quaicoe, made reference to Article 42 to Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which expounds all the electoral processes of Ghana. He mentioned fake news in the face of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an act with a high potential to cause mayhem in the upcoming general elections.

He cautioned all to desist from forwarding unverified information on Social Media platforms since it could lead to trouble. He also encouraged all to be abreast with Article 51 of the Constitution which stipulates that in the performance of the electoral duties, emphasizing that the Constitution enjoins the EC can come out with Constitutional Instruments (CI), urging all to read the CI91 in order to broaden their knowledge base on electoral processes in the country.

A Lecturer at Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at KAIPTC, Dr Victor Doke who was part of the panelists stated that it was key for the church to take steps to ensure that the security and peace of the country was sustained, urging the church to use its platform to preach peace before, during and after the elections.

The Deputy Chairman, General Services, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Victor Brobbey Esq, stated that NCCE has the mandate to support democracy in the country by educating the populace on their civic rights and responsibilities. He hinted that the Commission conducts national surveys aimed at finding out matters of concern to the Ghanaian voter.

Victor Brobbey Esq said the upcoming general elections as the first in the history of the country where the flag bearers of the two main political parties were coming from the same region hence would not leave any stone unturned so to ensure that there would be no misunderstanding leading to violence since electoral violence could lead to democratic reversals.

Director Security Secretariat, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mrs Victoria Yamoah, touched on the role of security agencies and the protection of citizens before, during and after the general election. She disclosed that after every election security agency conduct a review of their activities and take lessons for future elections.

She stated an Election Security Task Force has been formed to ensure that eligible voters are not prevented from casting their votes, adding that security at the border towns have been strengthened.

ACP Mrs Yamoah also hinted that a team would monitor Social Media platforms to analyze individual post on their walls and pages to determine whether they are inciteful or not; stressing that inciting post will be investigated and appropriate measures taken against such authors. She urged personnel of security agencies would be deployed on the day of the elections to ensure the safety of the citizenry.