Security Analyst, Colonel Festus Aboagye has accused the Ghana Police Service of failing to avert the violence in hotspots ahead of the 2020 general elections.
This comes after a peace walk by supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) turned violent in Jamestown in the Odododiodio constituency on Sunday morning.
Speaking on JoyNews’ News Desk Monday, the Security Analyst said the pre-election violence could have been prevented if police presence in the area was heavy since the Odododiodio constituency has already been identified as a hotspot.
“This is something that could have been avoided if certain considerations had been made. One of them is if the level of Police protection was higher than what probably they used yesterday,
“Secondly, when marches of this nature are organised, sometimes out of good judgement you select a road that avoids places that are known to be associated with the opposition,” he said.
Following the criticism, the Ghana Police Service has reiterated its stance that it has instituted measures to ensure that the December polls is violence free.
Director of Operations of the Ghana Police Service, Dr. Sayibu Pabi Gariba at a forum on Peace said the National Security Taskforce is paying keen attention to such incidents and lessons learned will inform deployments on Election Day.
“The National Security Taskforce keeps reviewing its strategy by looking at issues that are happening in the country. Even with yesterday’s clash at Odododiodio, we are looking at it and considering how it will all influence our deployment during Elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, it is still unclear what sparked the violence since leaders of the two political parties; incumbent NDC MP, Nii Lante Vanderpuye and NPP’s Nii Lante Bannerman continue to accuse each other over whose members incited the violence.
Addressing the matter at a press conference on Monday, Mr Bannerman said since Mr Vanderpuye assumed the reins as MP for the area, the constituency has witnessed no peace.
“I condemn the unwarranted attacks on our [NPP] members, other innocent citizens of the constituency. I hereby, call on the Police to as a matter of urgency, arrest these NDC thugs and let the law take its due course to serve as a deterrent to their likes,” the NPP Parliamentary Candidate said.
The constituency Vice Chairman of the NDC, Issaka Nii Amu also accused the NPP of instigating the fight.
He then challenged the NPP Parliamentary candidate to produce members who took part in the destructive act adding that the NDC will do the same.
“It is rather unfortunate because we know ourselves, we are brothers so [we must live in unity].
“I am willing to assist the police in their investigation. If they want to crack the whip, they must do it across board. Because we [NDC] will not condone this illegality.”
History of violence in the Odododiodio constistituency
In September 2016, a lady supporter of the NDC was stabbed at Bukom Square as chaos broke out during a political debate.
The supporters had gathered at the Bukom Square to cheer on their respective candidates who were taking part in a parliamentary debate by the Accra-based radio station, 3FM when tempers flared.
Several others from both parties sustained various degrees of injury.
The windscreen of at least two cars was also smashed. No arrest was made.