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General News of Tuesday, 15 March 2016


Awuni’s death has thrown us off balance - IGP

Late DCOP Angwubutoge Awuni Late DCOP Angwubutoge Awuni

The Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor, has said the sudden passing of the Eastern Regional Police Commander, DCOP Angwubutoge Awuni, has thrown the Ghana Police Service off balance.

Even more devastating, according to the IGP who was on a tour of the Upper East region when news of Mr. Awuni’s death hit the country on Monday, is the coincidence of the tragedy with the election year.

"As the father of the service and a very good friend of mine, he was one of our foremost members whom I trust very much. I was with him on Friday at the hospital, very hearty and cheerful. Little did I know that today I would hear of his death whilst I'm far away from Accra. We are touched, moved, off balance and of course devastated. The timing, too, is something that hits me more because of the elections and many other exigencies considering his calibre," the IGP told Starr News.

The legacy left behind by DCOP Awuni as a police officer who enforced the law with fairness and firmness cannot be overlooked.

His no-nonsense posture is perhaps the reason the IGP himself has described his passing as inconvenient for what pundits believe will be a tough general election in November, this year, in Ghana.

In one of the interviews the late vocal commander granted Starr News during a recent working visit he paid to his home region of Upper East, his trademark emphasis on unbiased enforcement of the law was not missing.

He said: "On my part, let me assure you that nobody can turn me around when I'm enforcing the law. The laws must be enforced. We are always looking at faces as to who has flouted the law and, therefore, who we should deal with. We should treat everybody equal. That should not take away that posture of civility towards members of the public. You must be civil towards the members of the public that you are dealing with but you must be very firm. I'm asking my men, my officers, to be very bold."

Whilst natives of Zuarungu, his birthplace, are mourning the loss of the one-time Director of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD), residents of Bolgatanga, the regional capital, are yet to come to terms with the reality that the iconic law enforcer is gone forever.

"Actually, when I heard of the death of Mr. Awuni this afternoon, I was very shocked. In fact, he's a great man. He comes to me at the shop. We worked for him at his new house over there. We have lost a great man in Upper East," DCOP Awuni's trusted electrician based in Bolgatanga, Awudu Yakubu, mourned.

Another resident, Sebastian Yitah, grieved, saying the departed commander was "a disciplined officer and somebody who stood by his word".

Sebastian recounted: "Recently, just on the labour demonstration. The Labour came to rent the police brand and they went and took them on and the man said he didn't see anything wrong with that. People criticised him that he was with the opposition political parties. But when you look at Awuni, you would know that he's a man of his word."

The IGP was in the region to familiarise himself with the challenges confronting police officers in the area and to psyche them up ahead of the November general elections. In a welcome address, the Upper East Regional Police Commander, DCOP Simon Yaw Afeku, mentioned the lack of a reliable wireless network system and accommodation crises among the challenges hampering police operations in the region.

The IGP wrapped up his tour with a call on the media to be circumspect in their coverage of the 2016 campaign activities and the general elections. He also promised to visit the region at least twice more before the November polls and to extend the ongoing IGP Dialogue Series to stakeholders in the region to promote peace ahead of the elections.

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