Open Letter to the Ghana IGP

6 Min Read

June 5, 2013 By Edward Amartey-Tagoe

Dear IGP,
I guess I may have to start with a praise or two before I delve into the very reason behind this particular letter. I am happy with the heavy police presence you’ve created in the City of Accra. Frankly I haven’t measured the impact, but I’ve had pals who claim the exercise, in their eyes has been a fruitful one. For me I would have felt safer if the presence was created in the evenings and dawn, when my neighborhood is most dangerous. Unfortunately it’s harder to spot them at these times in my neighborhood.

Now let’s move on to the more substantial reason behind this letter. Actually I would have used the e-mail addresses on the Ghana Police website, however I wasn’t sure it will be read by anyone. Especially given the fact that the phone numbers displayed there are still 021 numbers, especially months years after Ghana had changed its telephone system. You may want to ask whichever unit is handling your website to step-up its game!

I nearly wept when I saw the video below on Metro Tv, I just prayed I would get an online version soon, just so I can bring it to your attention. You may have seen already, however for the sake of doubt and double surety, I will give you a moment to see it for yourself. Please note that the video is not a movie, neither was it shot in 1991, it was shot in May 2013! In a civilized era, where courts are the ultimate and main determining bodies of ones guilt or otherwise.

Now that you have seen the video, I can understand if there are no tears in your eyes, I know you’ve seen worse. For me this Two minutes 31 second video of unarmed ‘suspects’ being lashed, booted, dragged, carried behind pick-ups unrestrained, is enough disgrace for me as a Ghanaian and a kinsman. Were the suspects armed? Were they beaten because they resisted arrest? Why would you keep booting an man after he’s fallen down? Is the back of the pick-up the best way to transport ‘suspects’ to the Police station? Did you team have to cause all this drama in their bid to bring instill calm? How do you reduce chaos with even more chaos?

Since 1992, Ghana has resolved to take the path of democracy. This obviously is a very expensive tunnel (Tune to the Election petition series on Tv and you will know what I am talking about), nonetheless, the people of the Republic of Ghana voted to go down that road. With this resolve, Freedom of  speech and expression, the rule of  law, separation of powers, One’s innocence until proven guilty became key ingredients of our governance. Thus, it baffled me when I heard your team put a ban on demonstration  citing  lack of resources as the main reason. And I’m certainly ashamed about the exhibition of unprofessionalism by your officers who remain in the service and keep harassing drivers on our streets pretending to be keeping law and order and checking licenses, road worthy certificates  etc. It is an open secrete that whenever a Policeman stops a tro-tro vehicle, the driver will be allowed to go if he is willing to part with some cash. Almost every Ghanaian has an experience of this ‘everyday’ event. I don’t see any measure put in place to nip this in the bud. Now what I hear is your service intends to introduce the spot-fine system?? I think it is just an introduction of a new revenue model for the bad nuts in the Police Service.

The people of Osu, the people of Accra and the people of Ghana deserve better  service from your outfit. In a country where army officer assault journalist and the act is justified by the superiors, it’s more shameful when the Police Service comes out to display such unprofessional behavior.

Dear IGP, I suggest to you that an inquiry into this matter should be made. Officers found culpable must be brought to book. I further suggest that your team properly trains the officer so they display.


Ashamed Citizen of Ghana.

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