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Opinions of Thursday, 26 October 2017

Columnist: Alex Blege

Beyond a bill and an insurance cover

It’s prudent that in the course of solving problems, there’s the need to be holistic in our approach so as to solve the problem right from the root. Two issues have warranted this piece. First it’s reported that a bill has been sent to parliament so as to legitimise a supposed fund to support the family of the late Major Mahama and then the other is the Insurance cover for the police that was recently reported in the media.

Beyond passing a bill to support the family there’s the need to start a nationwide agenda of educating the citizenry on matters of human rights. In the course of solving a problem, it is critical that the root of the problem be tackled rather than the consequences of the problem. As Parliament deliberates on this matter, Members of Parliament should equally think of ways of beginning a nationwide agenda of resourcing the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) adequately in all spheres and at all levels so as to enable it perform its constitutionally mandated functions.

The supposed fund will only alleviate one part of a bigger problem, but resourcing the NCCE to educate Ghanaians on matters of human right and the constitution, will bring mob justice to an end, if not minimise it. This will further reduce other forms of human rights abuses and enlighten the citizenry on their civic rights, responsibilities and limitations. Consequently, this will lead to an enlightened populace.

In the matter of the insurance cover for the police, it’s as good as gold. The purpose is to motivate the police to fight crime. It’s important that the lives of police officers are covered so that they don’t have to worry about what happens to their dependants should the unfortunate happen. Then again, it’s very important to question whether an insurance cover is what is needed most in an attempt to encourage the police to fight crime? As much as it’s good, the police needs more than just an insurance cover – they need more vehicles and motorbikes, a better accommodation than what currently exists, stationery, bullet proof vests, computers and other gadgets, properly functioning rifles and other weapons as well as constant refresher courses on best practices of fighting crime, and relating with the public.

It’s so appalling that police divisional commands in most parts of the country lack these facilities and the opportunities for refresher courses. How then do we intend to reduce crime nationwide? All said and done, in the course of making decisions on the harsh consequences of the issues that confront us, let’s consider a holistic approach that deals with the problems from the root.


The writer is a freelance journalist.

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