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Political vigilante group and National Security

AR Invisible Some members of the Invisible Forces

Sat, 8 Apr 2017 Source: Osei, Nana Yaw

Let me be straightforward here, the current activities of the Delta force and the invincible force believed to be offshoots of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) must be seen as some of the implications of constitutional drawbacks.

In order to prevent such repugnant upheavals, the position of Inspector General of Police (IGP) must be devoid of presidential control. We must begin to come out with pragmatic ways of appointing IGP. When the police and its appendage institutions like Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) are neutral, they can enforce the law to the letter without fear or favor.

One of the founding fathers of United States, James Madison, underscored the significance of checks and balances when he intimated that: “you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself. This means the main purpose of Checks and balances as espoused by Baron de Montesquieu is to prevent abuse of power and arbitrary rule by having the government restricts its own influence.

Police is part of executive arm of government. However, we can begin to think of bringing the office of IGP either under parliament or Supreme Court in terms of law enforcement while ministry of interior will continue to supervise the police from administrative angle. The practice of quasi-executive or quasi-legislative powers given to judiciary and vice versa is not uncommon in the world. Checks and balances is the way to avert political unrest.

It will not be fair to blame President Akufu-Addo for the activities of political vigilante group. Members of ex-presidents Mills/Mahama led National Democratic Congress (NDC) took the laws into their own hands by locking Municipal/District Chief Executives in their various offices. Of course, NDC government lost election 2016 because it failed to provide Ghanaians with the benefits of good governance. Therefore, it will be bereft of logic to keep on referring to NDC shortcomings.

Every democratically elected government at its embryonic stage like President Akufu Addo led NPP will wish to establish both social and political gravitas in the eyes of the voters.

Therefore, it does not make sense to think that the NPP government would encourage actions like the Delta Force operations at the court, which almost invariably embarrass the administration.

At least, unlike the police and BNI which came to whitewash “Montie 3” under the previous government, some arrests had been made regarding the Delta force manhandling of Mr. George Adjei, the Ashanti Regional security coordinator. NPP government must begin to clamp down intraparty indiscipline.

One of the reasons why NDC became unpopular was the remission and release of the famous three contemnors from prison. Various political parties must begin to think of behavior modification plans relative to electoral success and defeat management. Such plans will save NPP from embarrassment and save NDC from unnecessary internal squabbles that follow electoral success and electoral defeat respectively.

The 1992 constitutional lapses must be blamed for the current political crises in Ghana. Nevertheless, looking at the circumstances that compelled 13 members of the Delta force to appear before court, I think as Ayi Kwei Armah noted in his famous book, “The Healers” mosquitoes would have done better than what Ashanti Regional Police Commander did. Stringent security measures at the court could have curbed the second operation of the foregoing NPP vigilante group. I have really missed COP, Nathan Kofi Boakyi. Oh I guess you are too!

We must try to separate the office of IGP from executive control. When a new government comes with a new IGP, the ruling party members at the grass root will feel that the incoming police chief is one of their own. On the other hand, any arrest of the opposition members will be tagged as political witch-hunt and vendetta. Every IGP announces his/her presence with transfer of officers. Let us empanel our legal and security experts, political scientists and other stakeholders and look into the appointment of IGP. God Bless Our Homeland Ghana!

By Nana Yaw Osei (Padigo), Minnesota, USA

N_yawosei@hotmail.com.

Columnist: Osei, Nana Yaw
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