There is the need for the Ghana Police Service to show the president of Ghana documented evidence of political interference in its work, which is preventing them from acting proactively in dealing with political violence, Dr Kwesi Aning, a security analyst at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC), has said.
According to him, there are many incidents depicting how politicians across the divide have interfered in the work of the police, preventing them from doing their work without fear and intimidation.
His comments follow criticism of the Ghana Police Service by President John Mahama over the clash that occurred between supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) while the two groups embarked on a health walk simultaneously on Sunday. The clash occurred near the Nima residence of the presidential candidate of the NPP, resulting in stones allegedly being thrown at the house of the three-time candidate for the main opposition party.
Mr Mahama said during a meeting with some labour unions at the Flagstaff House on Tuesday November 15, that: “Only last Saturday we almost had a clash which was unfortunate.
If any of those firearms had been fired and someone had dropped dead it would have been a completely different story. I think we should be preventive enough in our actions to prevent such things. ...I think that the police at Nima should have been better briefed knowing that this group was passing through and then we should have taken appropriate safeguards to ensure that such a thing doesn’t happen.”
But speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday November 16, Dr Aning said: “It will be good for the Police Council to meet and say, ‘Guys, what is it that is preventing us from working?’ and then for the Police Service to bring a 50- or 100-page document showing instances of political interference and meddling across the country and the impact of such meddling on the profession.”
“There are cases where police officers have done what is right, the case has gone to court and the officers involved have been intimidated to withdraw the cases from court.
And the anguish of the president gives space to the police also to now inform His Excellency with documentary evidence that, ‘This is what your people are doing on the ground, and this is what the people have previously done on the ground and this is what is leading to the culture of fear and unwillingness to proactively intervene, that is where the challenge is.”