Feature Article of Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Columnist: Pobee-Mensah, Tony

Houston We Have A Problem; Hello. TonyPM

I could not believe what I was reading when I read this morning that President Mills said he was not a law enforcement officer: this from a bona fide lawyer? If Mr. Mills believes that he is not a law enforcement officer, then there is something wrong with the law school that he went to. If Mr. Mills indeed believe that he is not a law enforcement officer, then he should resign immediately and let someone who believes he is a law enforcement officer take over the presidency.

Sorry for the following comparisons, but they illustrate the fallacy of the president's thinking. The United States government is a federal system of government, but within the states, the government is a unitary system of government just like ours. In a unitary system of government, the Prime Minister, President, or Governor is supreme. The office of the head of government is the chief law enforcement officer. This is what granted the Governor of Florida the authority to impose a special prosecutor on Sanford County in a recent Trayvon Martin case involving one Mr. Zimmerman who shot and killed a 17 year boy and claimed self defense. This is what granted the governor of Michigan the authority to impose a board on the city of Detroit to approve the city's budget before it can take effect.

Even in the federal system of government in the United States, President Kennedy, being the chief law enforcement officer of the country, sent the military to Alabama to enforce the law during the civil rights days. I hate to break it to you, but Mr. President you are the chief law enforcement officer of the country. Because you are the chief law enforcement officer, you get to appoint the Inspector General of Police who serves at your discretion. All the Ministers who you appoint are there to enforce the laws of the state and are responsible to you. If your appointees are inadequate, we have every right to hold you responsible because you are the chief law enforcement officer. You have the responsibility to hire more police to enforce the law on your behalf if there aren't enough police. You are responsible for the IGP's inadequacies.

For the sake of the country, you have the discretion to send the military to help the police to maintain peace as has been done in many countries in the past Mr. President. If you cannot do this or if you don't see this as your responsibility, how can you promise a peaceful election?

I have been bothered by pictures that I have been seeing in the press with people wielding cutlasses and clubs and have wondered what you, Mr. President, was doing about it. Little did I think that you would not consider it your job. I wonder if you have made any plans for the up-coming election. You are probably sitting there thinking that it is the police's job and the IGP is sitting there thinking that it is politics and not their job. Mr. President, you have demonstrated that you do not know what your job is as president and for that, I say you should not have been president. For the sake of Ghana, you should resign.

Tony Pobee-Mensah