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Opinions of Friday, 5 November 2010

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

NDC’S Abuse of Police Service

By: Kwabena Amankwah

The leadership of the ruling National Democratic Congress last week directed the Ghana Police Service to effect the arrest of individuals and groups behind the display of “Konadu for 2012” posters across the country.

“The NDC calls on the law enforcement agencies to assist it in identifying individuals and groups that may be engaged in such reprehensible activities that do not only undermine the party, but also have implications for the security of our dear motherland,” a statement signed by the party’s national chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei, directed.

Many Ghanaians, including this writer, did not only consider the directive unfortunate and misguided, but also deemed it an obvious invitation to abuse of the law enforcement agencies.

Like many political watchers and commentators, I am of the view that any attempt to involve the Police Service in the handling of internal affairs of the NDC constitutes a gross abuse of that important security apparatus and therefore should not be countenanced by the nation.

What share does the Police Service have in dealing with the internal problem of power struggle in a ruling party where there is no element of criminality in the action of the actors involved?

It is instructive to stress here that there is no commission of crime when any individual or group decides to project a political figure they believe in as a potential presidential candidate of any political party in the country.

In this respect, the people who were behind the distribution and display of “Konadu for 2012” posters had committed no crime and so there was no need for the NDC leadership to issue a directive to the law enforcement agencies to identify and arrest them.

One would have therefore expected the Police Service, made up of professionals who know what they are about, to disregard the directive, treat it with the contempt it deserved, and further resist any attempt to allow themselves to be led on the path of unrighteousness by the NDC.

It is therefore against this background that I consider it both strange and unfathomable the decision by the Eastern Regional Police Command to effect the arrest of two people for alleged possession of some of the “Konadu for 2012” posters.

Even though the ill-fated duo had committed no crime under the laws of Ghana, one of them even had to spend a night in police custody. This was a clear case of needless and gross abuse of the rights of an innocent citizen, and therefore needs to be condemned by all who have respect for the laws of the country.

The Police Officers involved in the case should bury their heads in shame for allowing themselves to be misused by the District Chief Executive for Kwahu East, Samuel Asamoah, and the NDC officials in the Abetifi constituency as instruments to perpetrate human rights violation against innocent citizens of the land.

It is crystal clear that the motivation behind the arrest and ill-treatment of the innocent duo was the direct response by the Eastern Regional Police to the directive issued by the Dr Kwabena Adjei-chaired leadership of the ruling National Democratic Congress.

Just like many people, this writer feels very much appalled and disgusted at the decision by the Eastern Regional Police Command to sacrifice professionalism and good sense of judgment on the altar of satisfying the whims and caprices of functionaries of the ruling NDC.

This kind of conduct does not only erode public confidence in the Police Service, but also creates the impression that some personnel of the Service are in cahoots with the ruling party.

What the Police Service should know is that it would be difficult for them to enjoy the support and cooperation of the citizenry if they are seen to have compromised professionalism on the altar of pleasing the powers-that-be.

While I want to remind the Police Service of the need to always remain professional, instead of acting to please some political leaders, I further want to urge the ruling party to eschew the tendency of subjecting the law enforcement agencies to any form of misuse in the pursuit of their parochial partisan agenda.

The Ghana Police Service is a national institution and not an appendage of the NDC and so should be handled accordingly.

Kwabena Amankwah is a member, NPP Youth Wing Communication Committee, NPP E/R Communication Committee, and former TESCON-UCC Secretary. amaskwabena@yahoo.com. 0244-217504.