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Opinions of Friday, 30 March 2018

Columnist: Osarfo Anthony

Civilians should not be encouraged to be building police stations

I support and encourage civilians going their own way to contribute to national development without direct support from government or political leaders. It could be the building of hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, recreational centers, libraries, or even the construction of roads.

I’m however of the opinion that civilians MUST NOT for whatever reason, be ALLOWED or ENCOURAGED to build police stations – as a form of contributing their quota to community or national development. It’s a bad national security practice! I don’t need to be a security expert to state this.

I just read that, the CEO of Despite Group of Companies, Dr. Osei Kwame Despite has donated an ultra-modern police station to Ghana Police Service and the people of Wiamoase in the Ashanti Region. He’s receiving applause for that.

But I insist, it’s a bad national security practice! It should not be considered a civic responsibility to support the frantic efforts to curb crime!

Any country that is very mindful of the security of its nation and or people, should not be encouraging its civilians to be building its SECURITY ZONES!

As I admitted above, some may do it in the good spirit of contributing to national or community development – however, that should not be a strong reason for this practice to be encouraged or continued.

If that reason stands, then civilians who can afford, should also be encouraged to buy arms and donate to our police service to fight crime or criminals.

Rich ones in every society do have ostensible influences of helping – yet, may have ill motives. We live in a society where the rich and influential, some of whom, uses criminal and immoral means to make their money at the expense of the nation or society (I’m not suggesting Mr. Osei is one though).

If this practice is encouraged, we could be having some corrupt ones, build and donate a police station but with ill-hidden objective.

Rich but corrupt (of course we have many in Ghana) can spend thousands of Cedis to build a police station for a community just to please the community leaders so he or she can cloud their minds and have it easier to engage in a criminal venture or business!

Imagine a cousin or niece of Dr. Osei commits a crime. The police at this station gets to know he or she is related to Dr. Osei Kwame. What next? Make a guess. We are in Ghana – where anything is possible!

This practice is a huge national security loophole overlooked! I will maintain at all times, that, the building of police stations or security zone/camps, and the likes, should be the SOLE RESPONSIBILITY of government! Civilians should be excused!

If our national security authorities want the civilians to support the security services in combatting crime, it should be about: educating people on how criminals operate, empower civilians to report crimes irrespective of who is involved, urge civilians to assist in investigations, protect identities of such civilians, among others.

For goodness sake, I congratulate Dr. Osei Kwame, but maintains that as a nation, we should reconsider encouraging civilians building national security zones! Until then.....MOTWUM!!

Osarfo Anthony