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General News of Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Source: Daily Guide

Blows over IGP

A meeting of the Management Board of the Police Administration at the headquarters took a nasty turn last Wednesday when Commissioner of Police (COP) Rose Bio Atinga, in charge of Administration, was alleged to have engaged in verbal exchanges with the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Mohammed Alhassan, following a misunderstanding.

At the center of the undercurrent to the present tension in the service is the jostling for the position of the next Inspector General of Police (IGP).

Sources said it was a normal meeting of the top echelon of the service where the agenda included the issue of promotions and transfers which the IGP, Paul Tawiah Quaye, had ordered, his last major assignment prior to retirement.

Daily Guide learnt that DIG Alhassan sought to exert his authority as Chairman of the management meeting (formerly known as headquarters Management Board) by pulling a brake on the promotions and transfers.

But Rose Bio Atinga was said to have refused to submit to the authority of the DIG, pointing out that the will of the IGP be done, since according to her, he (Alhassan) was the head of the police, but she was in charge of Administration in the service.

Matters were said to have got to a head when Rose Bio Atinga allegedly demanded possession of the file containing the list of the affected officers.

A message about the development was said to have been transmitted to the seat of government, the Osu Castle, where a directive was issued asking that any such transfers and promotions be suspended until the appointment of a substantive Interior Minister.

Next IGP

Behind this acrimony among the top brass of the police is the race for the IGP post.

There is intense lobbying in the police with even Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) declaring their interest for consideration.

Some COPs are highly qualified for the top job but they are seen as politically incorrect, leaving the turf for Rose Bio, Alhassan and John Kudalor.

Some of these ACPs are said to be saying that there was no sense in appointing Commissioners who have barely a year to leave the Service to the position of IGP when most of them (ACPs) have more years to serve.

Deputy Chief Constable Mohammed Alhassan admitted there was a meeting but he denied the misunderstanding between him and Rose Bio Atinga when Daily Guide contacted him.

“It is not the way they are putting it; of course we share ideas, it’s an open forum, there can’t be any misunderstanding,” he told Daily Guide.

“We want the best ideas out that’s all. We may agree and not agree on issues but that does not mean there can’t be any misunderstanding.”

Meanwhile, COP John Kudalor appears to be the favorite for the post of IGP.

For those who have noticed the inclination of government towards the man who has been in charge of the police, especially during the elections, they have wondered why DIG Mohammed Alhassan is being marginalized.

Mr Alhassan, the most experienced and senior officer after the retiring of IGP, having held critical police positions at the United Nations (UN), has a year more to leave the Service, a fact which does not preclude him from being appointed chief constable.

There is however a precedent in the police service as in the case of former IGP Ernest Owusu Poku’s appointment in the year 2001 when the NPP assumed political power.

Though the man had less than a year to go on retirement, then President John Agyekum Kufuor appointed him acting IGP, a position he held until his time was up.

Nana Owusu Nsiah took over the mantle thereafter till he retired in the year 2005 followed by Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong and Elizabeth Robertson Mills.

With the name of Mr Kudalor now flying high in government circle as likely IGP, the hopes of Rose Bio Atinga, in becoming the next IGP after the incumbent, appears to be dashed.

She therefore seems to have given up any hope of winning the favour of the authorities.

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