The Inspector General of Police (IGP) must provide a further and better particulars on the directive he gave to police officers to wear a particular uniform for a unique identity on election day, Col Festus Boahen Aboagye (Rtd) a teaching consultant at the Kofi Anna International Peace Keeping Training Centre ( KAIPTC), has said.
In his view, the directive as given the IGP is ambiguous therefore, clarity must be provided.
The IGP James Oppong Boanuh has prescribed particular uniforms for the officers who will be deployed for the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections.
According to him, this is for the purpose of uniformity and easy identification of police personnel during the polls.
A Police wireless message he issued said “for the purpose of uniformity and easy identification of police personnel during the 2020 election period. INGPOL directs that only traditional police uniforms will be used for the election 2020 duties and related operations for the avoidance of doubt the approved traditional uniforms for this purpose are blue-black/black and camouflage uniforms.
The IGP further “directs under no circumstance should brown khaki be entertained even during route march for the election 2020 duties. Also, no personnel should be seen in beard wearing police uniform except those with excuse shaving.
“Exempted personnel should also trim down the beard. Commanders are directed to ensure compliance with these directives to avoid being sanctioned together with the defaulting personnel.”
The directive has, however, attracted some concerns from the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The NDC raised suspicions that some hoodlums could find their way into the security personnel to be deployed on elections day, Monday, December 7.
According to the party, it is picking up information that some persons other than genuine officers will be clothed in the approved uniforms announced by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to intimidate voters in the party’s strongholds.
“This normal dressing requirement for all service personnel should be strictly enforced to assuage fears that some Police uniforms being sewn will find its way into the hands of vigilantes/hoodlums recruited by the ruling Party/government to intimidate and suppress voters in opposition strongholds,” the party demanded in a statement on Monday, November 23.
“Indeed, the NDC takes seriously information making the rounds that persons other than genuine Police officers some of whom were described as National Security operatives who committed acts of brigandage during the Ayawaso West Wuogon bi-election last year will be clothed in such Police uniforms to avoid detection.”
“The CID and FID personnel will also wear their approved overt and covert uniforms with their ID cards readily available for identification.”
Speaking on this development in an interview with Alfred Ocansey on the Sunrise show on 3 92.7FM Tuesday, November 24, Col Festus Boahen Aboagye (Rtd) said “It must be understood that when the IGP says that Police officers on duty would be wearing that blue uniform, the Blue uniform will have on it the number of that police officer and the name of that Police officer. That is my understanding.
“I am not aware that Police officers wear uniforms on which there are no names or there are no numbers. Probably the Police service needs to come out and give further and better particulars that this would be the case
He added “However, that wouldn’t obviate impersonation, it wouldn’t obviate the practice of some criminals wearing something that looks like the Ghana Police Service uniforms and having a number on it and having name on it.
“What may help is that Police normally operate in a specific locality. Except that under the circumstance you are going to have police everywhere not known in the community they are operating, so it calls for vigilance on the part of everybody to ensure that we don’t have criminals infiltrating this arrangement that the IGP has laid out in order not to cause all manner of mayhems.”