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Politics of Saturday, 31 August 2019


Police ammunition under Mahama was in sorry state – Hadzide

A Deputy Information Minister has criticised John Mahama’s administration for failing to adequately equip and retrain personnel of the Ghana Police Service.

Pius Enam Hadzide says such have National Security implications for which reason he would not ordinarily divulge but the bare truth is that “What was inherited by way of ammunition to the police was in a sorry state.”

“For the longest time in the history of this country especially under the last administration police did not go on any retraining,” he told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Joy News’ Newsfile, Saturday.

Mr Hadzide was responding to claims by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, that government is paying lips service to the police.

“We are not seeing much today in the area of retooling the police. We are paying lips service and we are celebrating mediocrity. Look at the number of vehicles the vice president who is the chairman of the Police Council gave, 567.

“Communicators of government and the NPP are all over the place celebrating that, when we know that is wholly inadequate if you look at the logistical constraints our men in uniform are faced with.

“It is either we are committed to equipping the police with the necessary accoutrements to do their work or we are not. It is time to rise above the rhetoric’s, the political talk and the platitudes,” Mr Gyamfi stated.

His comments follow a directive from the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery to the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) James Oppong Boanuh to arm all police officers on traffic duty.

This came after the murder of five police officers in the last 30 days in the line of duty.

Mr Hadzide says the unfortunate incident should not provide cannon fodder for anybody to score political points.

While he concedes that the ‘Police civilian ratio is worrying,’ he points out there is a gradual improvement.

“From 2017 up to date, I am aware that 4000 financial clearances have been given for the recruitment of new police officers. Out of that 4000, 2000 have actually proceeded to train. They have been trained and have been deployed. I am aware that plans are far advanced for another 1000 to also move in,” he revealed.

This recruitments, the Deputy Information Minister held is happening at the same time government is retraining existing police officers to ensure that their skills are up to date with modern policing.

Aside from the procurement of helicopters to aid the police in aerial surveillance, he revealed that the government has dispatched nine officers to South Africa to pursue studies aerial surveillance.

He wants recent attacks on the police to be interpreted as an outcome of effective policing for which the criminal is trying to fight back.

“Criminals are beginning to feel the pinch, the presence of police. We believe that the criminals, on the other hand, want to show some force with a view of intimidating the police,” the Deputy Minister argued.