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Opinions of Thursday, 13 June 2013

Columnist: Quenin, Samuel O.

Do The Ghana Police Have Integrity To Protect?

Many have been the voices of reason that have raised and continue to raise concerns about the rate at which lawlessness, bribery and corruption by public servants, private workers and politicians’ alike. In this rising spate of national canker where service to God and country, and seeking for the good interest of the masses have been traded for the concept of individualism, personal gratification and a get-rich-quick by all means mentality, it is very ironic to observe that the very institution mandated with the responsibility of checking lawlessness and prosecuting corrupt officials are themselves engaging in corrupt activities with great impunity. Why do I say so?

I am a national service personnel serving God and country in some part of the Central region of Ghana. Due some equally important engagement that I have back in Accra, where I reside, it has become necessary to travel back to Accra every weekend and return to my service base every Monday. But though out my travels one there has been one disturbing observation that makes me very worried. Police personnel who are positioned at vantage points on the Accra cape coast road to inspect cars and goods and to make sure the laws of the land are not broken have neglected this noble assignment entrusted to them by the good people of Ghana and rather take delight in extorting monies from especially commercial drivers with great alacrity. What has now become the norm is that, on approaching a police check, a driver will openly ask the mate to give him Ghc 1 which he (the driver) will put in to a booklet in the full glare of all the passengers and hand it over to the police on reaching the check point. The policeman or woman who receives removes the money with some great skills without any eye seeing as though he /she has received special training for this dastardly act.

In all of this the nagging question one is confronted with is whether the superiors of this policemen on the roads are aware of these nefarious activities their subordinates engage in. if no, then what kind of supervisory role do they play over their subordinates? What does it take to play undercover in monitoring the actions and inactions of their subordinates on the roads? And if yes, then will one be correct in asserting that police superiors and their subordinates have conspired to take from monies from these drivers and share the booty accordingly? If that is the case, as the speculation is, then am afraid we are not safe at all in our own country. The very people to whom the protection of the rights and liberties of the citizenry have been entrusted in their hands have formed an alliance against the citizens.

If the police care to know, I would like to bring to their notice that in almost all the instances I have witnessed on the roads they become a subject of ridicule by passengers and several unsavoury comments and aspersions are cast on the character and integrity. Will the Ghana police sit by and watch whiles some few bad nuts sink their image? I think it is about time the police service institute measures aimed at redeeming the image and restoring the reputation and integrity of the men in uniform.

By Samuel O. Quenin

Email kingslife@ymail.com