Kudalor risks being worst IGP – Akomea

Nana Akomea Vows Nana Akomea, Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)

Sat, 28 May 2016 Source: classfmonline.com

Ghana’s police chief has been advised to shelve thoughts of a social media blackout on November 7, 2016, the day the country goes to the polls to elect a new president and 275 parliamentarians, or risk earning the tag as the most unpopular Inspector General of Police in the annals of the country’s policing.

The warning came from the Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, in reaction to comments by Mr Kudalor on Thursday May 26 that blocking access to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, could be on the cards for the security of the nation during the ballot.

The IGP suffered a torrent of criticism from Ghanaians following his remarks but appeared unfazed when he told Class News’ Atiewin Mbillah on Friday May 27 that: “I don’t want to use some words, I think everybody has his opinion, everybody is entitled to his opinion. I’m talking as a security person, and I know where I’m coming from and I know what has happened. …The world is now a global village and we have to compare with best practices, so, I don’t see what they are talking about. If it gets to the crunch,… I think there is nothing that can stop anybody from going that way if it’s necessary.”

But according to Mr Akomea, the IGP’s hardline stance on such matters will not bode well for his time in office.

“If he starts going down this kind of route, he risks becoming the worst IGP in our history. There are problems with radio – serial callers call into radio stations and make all kinds of allegations. The police on the streets, some of them collect bribes. So, are we going to get the police off the streets because some of them collect bribes? Are we going to shut down radio stations because some of them give inaccurate information …? Are we going to do that? So, there’s a problem,” he said.

Mr Akomea admitted that there were problems with the media in general, not least social media, “but the solution should not be a ban”.

“You will be throwing the baby away with the bath water and you will be taking our democracy down to the level of Uganda and Zimbabwe and some of these countries that we hear things that we are not happy about,” he warned on Newsfile on Multi TV on Saturday May 28, 2016, telling the IGP: “Ghana has gone way ahead of that and don’t seek to drag us back.”

He said if care was not taken, the move could fuel perceptions that government was not interested in transparent elections.

He said the media, since the advent of the fourth republic, have “played their part so well”, particularly during elections, by offering “instant reportage” of happenings at polling stations nationwide, a practice that had “enhanced transparency and democracy” in the country.

In his estimation, for that “yeoman’s role” played by the media, any talk of banning them on social media on voting day “will take us back”. “It is horribly unfortunate,” he added.

Rather than put a freeze on social networking sites, the former Employment Minister suggested the IGP and the Ghana Police Service harness the benefits of social media. “There are tremendous advantages with social media, like any media. So, what you should be thinking about is the cure. There are technologies that are available and shutting down social media will require a certain amount of technology,” offered Nana Akomea, who was also Okaikoi South MP for four consecutive terms.

“Why don’t you find the technology that can allow you to trace unpalatable [behaviour] and people who will abuse social media? That is not forward-looking.”

Source: classfmonline.com
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