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Opinions of Monday, 29 January 2018

Columnist: Ekow Paintsil Djan

An open letter to President Nana Akuffo-Addo: Insecurity in modern Ghana

Dear Sir,

INSECURITY IN MODERN GHANA; A CLEAR INFLUENCE OF POLITICAL ‘MASTURBATION’ AND VIGILANTISM

Your Excellency, I bring you warm greetings from the Okyeman land, your homeland and in this case, I am referring to Kyebi. We are looking forward to seeing you one of the days ahead.

Mr President, this is my third letter to you since you assumed the high office as president – one official letter and two open letters and I must first and foremost commend you for your quest in changing the lives of the Ghanaian citizenry. I was much happy about the bold initiatives you brought up in pursuant of the protection of our environment – our forests, our water bodies and animals. A clear example is the fight against galamsey but the very sad truth is that this illegal act is still ongoing, with the Birim River turning into ‘tea’ once more.

Your Excellency, my attention today is on our security which is in disarray and at the verge of collapsing. The safety of all citizens in a country rests solely on the government. The era of the ‘survivor of the fittest’ is gone. Today, democracy is fast growing in the world, and our part of the world is not left out as far as this principle is concerned.

It is disgusting and worrying to see killings of policemen who have been trained to protect civilians. For the past few years, policemen have been murdered severally in the course of discharging their duties in serving mother Ghana. And so in times where policemen are murdered in a broad daylight, then what do we talk of us, the civilians without arms and weapons? We have witnessed the execution of eight (8) policemen just in January 2018. I do not want to recall the countless killings of our affable officers last year which is very sad and hard to accept this is happening in our country today.

Mr President, the activities of political vigilante groups have been with us for the past years but their spirits rose very high last year. They became part of our security services with so much power to even invade a court, to halt public activities like town hall meetings, to assault journalists, to beat up government appointees and ordinary citizens, etc. which to me, it is highly unacceptable in our country, against the principle of rule of law, which makes citizens feel unsafe, which destroys our hard-earned international reputation, drags Ghana into a state of lawlessness hence making Ghana an anarchical nation.

President Nana Akuffo-Addo, Ghana hasn’t been safe but it’s worse under your tenure as the Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces in the fourth republic. Insecurity is high under the current Inspector General of Police, Mr David Asante-Apeatu. I am not seeing any action from the Chairman of the Police Council, Dr Bawumia. I do not want to talk about the other four government security appointees.

Mr President, I have one police officer in mind. Some call him ‘Commander One’ but I call him ‘Ghana Police’. He’s one of the greatest assets the Police service has ever had but due to political ‘masturbation’ and ‘mafia’, he has been sidelined. His achievement as a police officer surpasses most officers, including the IGP but what do we see now? I understand he has been moved to the Research Department and I ask myself what he has been researching all this while.

Mr President, I have to end here with a quote from Barack Obama, a former president of the United States ’America doesn’t need strong politicians, we need strong institutions.’ Ghana needs same. It is about time we strengthen our security forces especially the police service by assigning duties to competent and ready-to-serve officers. Officers who can combat crimes, officers who can eliminate lawlessness. Mr Asante-Apeatu has failed as an IGP and must be replaced as soon as possible.

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