By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Oct. 19, GNA- The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has launched a three-day National Training-of-Trainers (ToT) workshop for its regional coordinators ahead of the 2020 general election.
The workshop, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is the first level of CODEO’s preparation towards the training and deployment of non-partisan observers for the 2020 general elections.
The objective is to prepare and equip CODEO’s Regional Coordinators to manage the Coalition’s Election-Day observation activities in their respective regions, and with the necessary skills to organize training for CODEO observers in respect of Election-Day observation activities.
The 30 Regional Coordinators will be tasked to recruit, train and deploy constituency supervisors for all 275 constituencies and to supervise constituency supervisors to recruit, train and deploy independent and non-partisan Election-Day observers and Constituency Collation Centre observers.
Among the topics to be discussed at the training workshop include, Citizen/Domestic election observation and the importance of the Parallel Voter Tabulation in contributing to election integrity and the Ghanaian legal framework for election observation and observers’ code of conduct.
The rest of the topics are election day procedures for the December 7, 2020 elections, and what observers must look out for, serving as a CODEO observer: roles, responsibilities, dos and don’ts and understanding the roles of a CODEO Regional Coordinators and managing resources.
Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, Acting Chair of CODEO, stated that CODEO was concerned about the incidents of election-related violence recorded so far as the country prepared to go to the December polls.
He urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Ghana Police Service to step-up investigations into such cases and to update the public on the progress and outcomes of the investigations, adding that the move was necessary for dealing with impunity and electoral violence.
“The credibility of the election outcomes is critical and CODEO understands that this desired outcome can only be made possible if all stakeholder institutions play their mandated roles with unwavering diligence,” he added.
The Acting Chair also tasked the Regional Coordinators to uphold CODEO’s principles of independence, non-partisanship and impartiality in the discharge of their duties.
Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairperson, the National Peace Council (NPC), noted that the effectiveness of the law enforcement and security agencies in the delivery of law and order would enhance the confidence of the citizens.
He said any act or omission that took away the confidence citizens had in the law enforcement agencies must be seen as a threat to the security of the nation.
“Particularly the media, we have to be careful about our reportage. You don’t undermine institutions that have been put in place to ensure the free and fairness, peace of the country, and expect peaceful elections. We need to be careful about the things we say,” he noted.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Dr Sayibu Pabi Gariba, Director of Operations, Ghana Police Service, commended all stakeholders who had contributed in developing a comprehensive security strategy for 2020 Elections.
He revealed that the National Election Security Task Force (NESTF) during the Voter Registration Exercise learnt some lessons and had factored them into the planning of the forthcoming elections.
DCOP Dr Gariba, who said security, was a shared responsibility, also called on the clergy, traditional rulers and institutions to trumpet the need for people to comfort themselves and go about their businesses in line with rules and regulations.
“Any individual or group of persons that are not within the NESTF architecture should not dare to deploy any force or individual to undertake the duties that are mandated to be executed by the NESTF,” he added.
CODEO is an umbrella body of independent and non-partisan civil society organizations formed in the year 2000 under the auspices of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) to independently and professionally observe elections in Ghana.