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Opinions of Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Columnist: Owusu-Ansah, Kofi

Open letter to the Inspector General of Police

By: Owusu-Ansah, Kofi

Dear Inspector General,

I am confident that you have now settled into your new position and I congratulate you on the feat because to rise through the ranks to this position required a lot of hard work, sacrifices, dedication, determination and the desire to help lift high the flag of Ghana and for your own personal development. I am not in any way to question how you got enlisted because the Ghana Police Service has never shown any openness when it comes to recruitment into the service back then in 1973 but I suppose that has changed now.

In 1973, I was invited to take part in the recruitment exercise for the Akim Oda zone and out of the forty candidates that took part in the entrance examination, I was number two and was sent a letter to report at the Police Depot in Accra sometime later of which I willingly obliged. I duly reported and went through all the necessary exercises and was told my date for training would be communicated to me in due course. I am still waiting for the said letter. Inspector General, it would interest you to note that one Agyapong, who failed the entrance examination at Akyem Oda, became a policeman and up till today, the Ghana Police Service has yet to write to tell me why, an intelligent person like me should drop out.

I know you know very well even before you were recruited that Ghana Police Service has a penchant for corruption. The institutionalised corruption that has become endemic in the Ghanaian society started with the Ghana Police and in the Ghana Police service. You know and I know that ever since the Gold Coast colonial police transferred power to the newly formed Ghana Police service, your outfit hasA always dabbled in corruption and I think it is a long time since you were a corporal and did the "beat" These are but a few:

1. Road blocks. Where the police would mount an unnecessary police road block to extort money from drivers.

2. They have road checks and all they do is to stop vehicles, corner the driver and take money 3. The police refusal to attend public calls under the pretext that they have no vehicles 4. Wanton arrest of law abiding citizens in most cases ordered by so called powerful people in the society 5. Disregard for the lives and properties of the citizens of Ghana 6. Abuse of power, going over board for the policeman and women to take the law into their own hands to decide to determine to do what they choose to do at any point in time, depending on the time and circumstance. 7. Unnecessary harassment and beatings

Mr Inspector General, may I remind you that the Ghana Police Service determines the type of lives the people of Ghana will enjoy at any period. If there will be peace or otherwise in Ghana, it is prescribed and enforced by the police service Your outfit has a responsibility to the people of Ghana by safeguarding their lives, property and even the little spaces they have been allotted by the selfish Ghanaian politician. You perform your duties hand in hand with the society at large in the sense that, you allow society to have trust and confidence in you and once that is assured, there is no way there will not be respect for the rule of law and harmony in Ghana.

There are so many laws in Ghana and so far, there is one law which we all respect: Women and Men Toilet. You will appreciate that this law is enforced because it does not call for the police to enforce  it to work. Citizens on their own appreciate that opposite sexes should not congregate on that type of facility. The point I am making is that anytime the Police has been expected to show leadership by enforcing the laws of the land, they have failed. Whatever should have been a free service worthy of execution by the police, there should be under the table transaction. I am yet to note where the Ghana Police service had performed their core function without being indulged one way or the other.

Parliament will pass all the laws they like but with the type of the unprofessional police service we have in Ghana, we shall never make any in roads in respect of the rule of law, the execution and enforcement of laws in Ghana. Ghana is tired of men placed in position of trust in public service who always fail to administer their core functions. The time has come and it is now and you have to make a name for yourself. Your outfit is corrupt to the core, they face the same challenges we all face as citizens of Ghana and when they were recruited, nobody told them they were being employed to go on holidays. I supposed they were told the true facts of their calling. They were made aware during training that they are to protect lives and property of Ghanaians. I am sure they were told that during their duty they will encounter the rich, wealthy, people of influence, powerful in society, chiefs, kings, politicians …all on one side and all those who have no voice in society but equally citizens of Ghana. They all need to be treated equally and fai rly.

Can the Inspector General of Police look into the eyes of the Ghanaian and tell them our police service have lived up to their core mandate? How do the policemen and women feel when through their drive for bribes they allowed a non-road worthy vehicle to operate on our roads thus causing accidents and murdering innocent Ghanaian? Do these men and women in uniform have conscience to each day reflect on their lack of professional discharge of their duty and consequences on lives and property in Ghana?

Ghana needs a professional police service and it is your turn and we shall never sleep until we see a Ghanaian Police Service that is making sure the developmental agenda is not slowed down by all forms of corruption which to a greater extent, is helped by the unprofessional Ghanaian Policeman and woman. I am watching.

Source: Kofi Owusu-Ansah www.ghanamindset.com /ww8.discussghanacom