Monday, 29 August 2016

Security In Ghana

It is beyond controversy that the greatest need of any human being and for that matter every nation is safety and security. It is not surprising therefore that governments invest heavily in their security agencies. Ghana is no exception. Successive governments have done their bit in terms of equipping the security services, especially the police. Despite all these efforts, many citizens believe that there are still a lot of loopholes in the system which is exploited by miscreants. It came as a relief when the former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Alhassan introduced the visibility programme. By that, police officers are deployed to vantage locations throughout the country. No one needs scientific proof to conclude that the visibility programme has boosted security in the cities and towns as well as along the highways. It is common knowledge that armed robbery and other crimes have been major issues of concern to many Ghanaians for many years. However the sight of the police and their open display of weapons and vehicles have done a lot to keep criminals at bay.

Though the situation is a lot better now, it gives no cause for complacency. The police must improve on their operations to provide maximum security to the citizens. It is however worrying that some criminals have found their way into the police service and are bringing the name of the service into disrepute. It is sad that the police who are trained to protect the public will now turn to be terrorising them.

The incident at Afram Plains in the Eastern Region where two armed police officers attacked a GCB bullion van in an attempt to rob it is most disturbing. This brings to question the process which is adopted to recruit people into the service. One is also tempted to ask what background checks are done before people are enlisted. Now, it is uncomfortable seeing police officers carry gun as one cannot be too sure what they are likely to use the gun for. It is usual to see police officers wield sophisticated weapons like AK47 as they walk along the streets and on motor bikes as well as on board commercial vehicles. It is justified that people will express genuine fear upon seeing police and other security officers with weapons.

The Inspector General of Police and his administration must put in place immediate measures to restore public confidence in the service. The police can be commended for being able to re-arrest the two police officers who escaped. Their escape gave the wrong impression that they were deliberately let loose. Now that they have been re-captured, they must be made to face the full rigours of the law. Despite the conduct of these two police officers and a few others, the overwhelming majority of the men and women of the service are above reproach. Let them not be demoralised by the conduct of the few miscreants who are bent on dragging the image of the service in the mud. Let them continue in their efforts to provide security to the nation.

This is very critical as the elections approach.

BY ALHAJI ALHASSAN ABDULAI, CEO OF EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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