‘We can only recommend’
By Joseph Ojumu. Accra
Confronted with the gravity of its statement threatening to shut out social media coverage of the forthcoming presidential polls, the Ghana Police has eaten its words.
In a fresh development on the subject, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Cephas Arthur has stated that the Inspector General of Police in truth has no power to ban Social Media on Election Day as had been earlier reported.
According to Supt. Arthur, reports that the IGP John Kudalor will ban social media on Election Day are inaccurate adding that the IGP’s comments have been misconstrued.
It will be recalled that while interacting with Police personnel during a tour of the Eastern region on Tuesday, the IGP had been reported as reiterating his earlier call for a complete social media blackout during the November 7 general elections if the need arises.
According to the IGP, he will ensure an eight-hour ban on social media during the general elections to ensure peaceful election if the need arises.
“Social media is used to churn out untruths and half-baked truths and lies…we as the Police will not sit down for this to happen, we shall recommend to our principal that Social Media is banned for the seven or eight hours that the election will take place after all it is nothing but Ghana first and I still stand by that,” the IGP said.
But Supt. Arthur in a chat on the Morning Starr Wednesday said the IGP can only recommend a ban on Social media to the right authorities for consideration but lacks the power to unilaterally order a social media blackout.
“A lot of the things he [IGP] does them in advisory role, he just advises the appropriate authority so the IGP doesn’t have the power to ban social media,” Supt. Arthur told the programme host, Nii Arday Clegg.
Incumbent President John Mahama, Mr. Nana Akuffo-Addo and a handful of other aspirants are locked in what pundits are already describing as a titanic contest to decide who will be President of Ghana after November 7.