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Misuse of social media, a trigger of post-election crises – ECOWAS Police Chiefs

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Misuse of social media, a trigger of post-election crises – ECOWAS Police Chiefs

By Lizzy Okoji

Police chiefs in some ECOWAS member countries on Friday lamented the misuse of social media which, in recent times, had become a major trigger of postelection crises.

They revealed this during discussions on “Inclusive and Peaceful Security Forces and Democratic Elections in the ECOWAS Region” at the ongoing ECOWAS Parliament High Level Seminar in Winneba, Ghana.

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They recommended that election commissions announce the results as soon as possible to avoid inconsistencies in fake results announcements on social media.

Ghana’s Inspector General of Police George Dampare said results announcements on social media made citizens doubt the integrity of electoral processes when they did not favor them.

“With social media, people are starting to broadcast results that compromise the integrity of the entire electoral process in the form of fake news, if I can use that word.

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“This period is becoming so critical, and therefore, if there is no clear timetable for the official announcement of the results, then space is given for anyone to fill in anything.

“Then the tension grows to a level that affects the very survival of the country in terms of what will happen next.

“So in this context, we also do our best to provide security in the offices of political parties, at the electoral commission and any other place that we consider vulnerable at that time.

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“We are making sure that the Election Commission does what is necessary as soon as possible,” said Dampare.

He noted that the police continued to monitor the state, one month, two months or more, until they were satisfied with the situation, depending on the dynamics of the election.

Likewise, the Inspector General of Police of Sierra Leone, Ambrose Sovula, recommended that ECOWAS find a way to regulate the misuse of social media platforms, especially with regard to the announcement of the results of social media. elections.

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Soluva said social media is designed to bring development, but unfortunately it is used by some to destroy.

“This social media thing is misused; it was created for us to develop, but today we use it to destroy the gains we have made.

“We should look at it at the ECOWAS level to see how it can be resolved.

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“Social media is used as an incentive platform by individuals with little political motivation,” Soluva said.

He noted that whatever the situation, the police remained the solution to the problem, especially with regard to internal security.

“Regardless of the election, the police are the solution to this problem. The police, when it comes to homeland security, must be in charge, ” Soluva said.

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Source: NAN

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