Violence in 2016 election exaggerated – Security expert

A security expert, Wing Commander Patrick Sogbordjor (retired), says claim of violence in the lead-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana is exaggerated.

He believes the media, political parties, and religious communities are raising false alarms about the safety of citizens and security of the country ahead of the November 7 polls and something needs to be done to control that immediately.

“I sincerely believe we have overhyped the issue of violence in this year’s election. As early as March [started] pushing the idea of violence in the mind of people which should not be,” he said.

Wing Commander Sogbordjor disclosed this to Nana Ansah Kwao IV, host of MultiTV’s news analysis programme PM Express when commenting on security ahead of the general election.

As the nation marches into what many political analysts say is a crucial election, many concerns have been raised regarding security especially considering the nature of intemperate language in the media.

The security agencies have warned political parties to desist from stockpiling of arms and have intercepted weaponry of all kinds from individuals in the country.

Northern Regional branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Tuesday held a news conference in which it accused the Regional Minister, Abdullah Abubakari, of stockpiling of AK47 for distribution to his followers ahead of the election.

The Northern Regional NPP Chairman, Bugri Naabu, said the Mr Abubakari was behind the skirmishes that took place over the weekend in Walewele where there was a clash between some NPP youth and supporters of governing National Democratic Congress.

He called on the “NDC government to bring the Regional Minister to book” over his actions in the region.

Mr Naabu stated “the next time he [Abubakari] will do such a thing there will be problem for him in the region.”

These allegations have been refuted by Mr Abubakari who believes the NPP is picking on him because they feel he is a potential threat to them in the region.
“The motive of the NPP led by their uninformed chairman is to find a way of winning the Walewale parliamentary seat which I am contesting,” he said.

This latest security news has reignited the debate about the security of the country with some persons questioning what the security agencies are doing to apprehend culprits.

But Wing Commander Sogbordjor said the incessant accusations among political parties are harming the peace of the country.

He said people speak as though this year’s election is between Turkey and Egypt.
According to him, the more Ghanaians talk about the possibility of violence in the election, the more it becomes real.

Director of Royal Kingdom Security Network Limited, Reverend Dr Franklyn Kwesi Biney, said an election is not supposed to drive fear into citizens as Ghanaian elections do.

“Election is a contest for legitimate power that can be described as non-violence competition,” he said, adding, words are powerful therefore intemperate languages must be condemned.