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The Director of Religious Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Rev. Friar George Arthur, was brusque when he presented a homily during the induction service for the new Inspector General of Police, Mr. David Asante-Apeatu, last Sunday.
It is rare for service personnel to openly diagnose the law enforcement agency the way he did, but considering his calling as a man of God, a cleric of no mean standing, his outspokenness was not totally surprising. It is the kind of openness which could have sent ‘children with sharp teeth’ under the old order charging at him.
The new IGP does not have to commission an enquiry into the malaise of the Ghana Police Service so he can apply the necessary antidote, the cleric’s remarks having come handy, covering all the areas that need to be tackled in order to restore the law enforcement agency’s glorious days – long overwhelmed by self-inflicted acts of misdeeds.
If he allows the fear of God to be his cornerstone, the battle is won already. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
One of the areas touched by the chaplain, which almost all Ghanaians, especially those in the Police Service, know but avoid discussing openly is the dangerous issue of ethnicity. We dismiss it as non-existent at the peril of the law enforcement agency and the country. Some strangely dismiss it as nonsense, but such denial cannot lead us to addressing it.
Victims of ethnicity – which has unfortunately been given oxygen by persons at the top of the police hierarchy – feel it. They continue to harbour the pain of having nobody to turn to at their times of torments, having been denied their dues in the form of promotions, study leaves and others. Promotions have been withheld sometimes as a result of the application of this crude practice in an institution which should be spared such malpractice.
The hushed plaudits the chaplain received outside the chapel said it all about the many hearts his words soothed. The cankerworm has gone hand-in-hand with the inappropriate politicization of the system.
Today, it is easy for some police personnel to show their political colours without fear of reprimand – the offence, it would appear, no longer attracting sanctions.
DAILY GUIDE during the past regime, reported about a cop who became so partisan that he made it to Facebook, yet nothing was done about him because he was, in view of his partisan superiors, politically correct and so untouchable.
Morale got so low until three months ago when after the change in government personnel began hoping for positive developments in the Service, an institution they joined with high hopes.
Disgruntled cops and Ghanaians are looking up to the new Chief Constable to address the myriad challenges he has inherited from the previous political and police administrations. Let him draw inspirations from President Akufo-Addo, who has not been daunted by the glaring challenges as he soldiers on to conquer new grounds to the admiration of his compatriots and the international community.
Even enlistment into the Ghana Police Service has been contaminated with scandals, the most visible of them all claiming the career of a top officer and earning for the institution an unattractive image dent.
The task before the IGP is enormous but if the president is not scared and already holding the bull by the horns, he too can do wonders. After all, he told his kids that if the goal is not overwhelming, it is not big enough. The goal in his case is transforming the Ghana Police Service to a world-class institution where best practices are the cornerstones. We wish him Godspeed.
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