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Opinions of Friday, 12 April 2019

Columnist: Solomon Mensah

TALKING DRUM: Hello CID boss, promotion in commotion?

When Tilapia, 3news’ cartoonist, penciled a beautiful but thought-provoking art about you, I declined writing an article on the topic he captured. I felt he told the public whatever I needed to say.
It was about the press conference you had, briefing the general public on the whereabouts of the missing Takoradi girls. Tilapia captured you in his piece standing on top of two buildings saying you [the police] knew where the girls are. In the building under your right foot were the kidnappers? presumably? attempting to further obliterate their footsteps as they heard your pronouncement.

“Away,” the kidnappers said.

Whereas Tilapia’s work was/is merely an art, it was based on the reality after you ‘generously’ told the public your seeming gains into the search for the girls.

Dear Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, if I am to call a spade a spade and not a big spoon, I was overly mad hearing you utter those words. Yes! I know that if I were at that press conference I would have been behind bars by now. I would have asked you where you got trained as a police officer and whether you sincerely think you know your job and whether you think you deserve your salary after that announcement.

Which police force in the world announces they know the whereabouts of suspects/criminals when they have not arrested them? If it is done in the Americas and Europes, please, let us leave it to them as they have the state-of-the-art facilities to really effect arrest. To what extent was that announcement of good use to the public? Would it not have been ideal and prudent had you secretly dealt with the affected families by, first, briefing them on the state of their daughters and cautioning them not to open up to the media on that?

Maame Yaa, if you care to know, our police force became a cheap bowl for the world’s spit following that unwarranted announcement. In my estimation, you gave the suspects a free exeat!

Last week Friday, April 5, 2019, news broke that you, DCOP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department, had been promoted. According to a statement that was signed by the Director of Public Affairs at the Police Headquarters, DSP Shiella Kessie Abayie-Buckman, Maame Yaa Tiwaa and five others had been promoted to the rank of Commissioner of Police (COP). Others also jumped from one rank to the other.

My worry here is not about who was fit for promotion or not as some Ghanaians have expressed. My worry rather is about how the Ghana Police Service feels awarding and promoting themselves in the midst of the commotion surrounding the missing girls, the police brutalizing civilians [journalists in particular], political party vigilante groups raining terror on citizens among an avalanche of such chaos.

Truth be told, none of the officers who got promoted would have rejoiced had any of the missing girls been their daughter or relative. But, here they were all joyous.

Had Ruth Love Quayson, 18, said to be a graduate of the Fijai SHS in Takoradi; Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, a student of the University of Education, Winneba, and Priscilla Mantebea Korankye, 15, a student of the Sekondi SHS; been any of our politicians’ daughters, would the police not have gone beyond mere words?

As it stands, I think our government and security forces must always commend the Nigerian government and its security forces for brokering a deal in rescuing the Chibok Girls from the hands of the trigger-happy army of Boko Haram. Our CID, together with the Bureau of National Investigations [BNI], can’t effect arrest of probably three or five kidnappers but only locate their whereabouts. That should tell you there is no room for celebration or whatsoever yet.

Dear Maame Tiwaa, if indeed you have located where the kidnappers are and you think the police are not strong enough to arrest them, what about involving our men at the Burma Camp? Did we not see soldiers displaying unimaginable acrobatics at the 62nd Independence Parade in Tamale [in the Northern Region] recently? This is the time we need those acrobatics if indeed the kidnappers are in sight!

I feel like there is a knife in my heart whenever I remember that news report had it that there were seven police officers on duty when the kidnapper in custody, Samuel Udotek Wills, broke jail with a hacksaw. In my article on the issue dubbed “Takoradi jail break, a case of criminals in uniform” published in January 2019, I called those officers who were on duty criminals.

I was not surprised later Mr. Udotek said a CID officer assisted him in breaking jail. Maame Tiwaa, the fact that the alleged kidnapper broke jail in less than a day after he was put behind bars should tell you he is one of the criminals. I was mad when the police were pampering him that he will not talk.

I am getting heated as I write this piece and, perhaps, I need to check my blood pressure. Nonetheless, I will leave you a simple plan to really get the criminals arrested after which you can award yourselves with ranks.

Once you still have Samuel Udotek Wills in your custody, sit him down and let him tell you where really his colleagues are. If he shuns your good counsel, get a box of candle, light one, gently open his nose and drop in it the candle’s hot liquid. He will even give you information you did not ask for. But, if he still proves stubborn, get a used bicycle tire, cut a string of it, light it and drop the burning solid at his back. Please, forget about what the human right lawyers and activists would say.

Our elders say if you bite me on the butt, despite the danger of sinking your teeth into fecal matter, then if I bite you on the head, I will disregard the danger of sinking my teeth into cerebral matter!

The writer is a broadcast journalist with Media General (TV3/3FM). Views expressed here are solely his and do not, in anyway, reflect the editorial policy of his organisation.
Twitter: @aniwaba