An Open Letter To ACP Antobogwe Awuni
5/4/2012 4:31:59 PM -
Dear ACP Awuni,
All correct sir, no mistake sir, this is your lost brother calling from far away Western Region, Takoradi to be precise sir. I am sure you have also lost and missed me sir. We are all not to blame because of your job and the fact that I have also changed jobs. You see, I remember those days when we used to sit at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, our alma mater, and quaffed some, you know what. My change of job from writing in the papers to managing and developing the lives of my people out here in the Ahanta West District distanced me from you and so many other friends.
Within those periods, I read about your transfers from the Public Relations Department of the Ghana Police Service to other places with their accompanying promotions. Congratulations. I also followed your 'ordeals' in the various places you went and the attendant problems that might have confronted you in the cause of delivering professional policing to the people and the nation at large. You might have also heard about the 'political ordeals' I also went through in my new job and the controversies that emanated from the eight-year period when I changed jobs. The difference is that you still have your job and I am on retirement. Sometimes it is difficult to understand, as you rightly said in an interview, whether we do not understand the system which under normal circumstances should enjoin us to do what is right, or it is the system which does not understand the need to do what is right.
The good thing in all this are the lessons we learn and the additional strength we gain in our quest to do what is right when everybody else seems to be doing what is wrong. Indeed, my lifestyle also changed in as far as quaffing is concerned. I believe that while in the Northern part of this country in the service of Ghana, you might have switched from green bottles to pure unadulterated pito, proper proper one. Not the ones brewed in the corners of Nima or Mammobi when you came back to the Nima Division. Hmmm, I also changed to mahogany bitters; that is why I have become so much used to it. Since you became the 'Oga Patapata' of the Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service, your challenges have risen again. I was not surprised when your hard work at the Nima Division caught the eye of the 'Speakers' of the Service, which pushed you again to a more challenging office.
My brother Oga Sir, you may have problems in your new position which are known only to you, but there are others which can be observed from a distance by non-professional police people like me who only criticize your work. One of the major areas of challenge to your work as I see, apart from the 'do you know who I am' effusions from some buffoons in political office, is the indiscipline on our roads by both the young and the old. Ehee, before I forget, what has happened to the man you arrested for preventing Ghanaians from voting in the Osu area because they are not Ayikweis and Naa Ajales? I heard the man, instead of reporting you to the police for whatever, decided to report you to a minister. Why? After his report or complaint (then he becomes a complainant), who takes his statement? After the statement, who does the investigations? And then who initiates the prosecution?
My Oga brother, who invites you to the minister's office (since that place will be the alternative police station), who detains you and administers bail in preparation for court? Oh Ghana my motherland, a rich nation being governed by men and women bereft of common sense and simple ideas.
Yes, as I was saying, these road users are creating a lot of problems for you paaa. Sometimes these problems end up in the unprecedented loss of lives, particularly in this era of unprecedented everything. Sometimes, you will be sitting your somewhere and some people will call you to comment on the cause of an accident live on air when you are not the driver of the vehicle. Then they will ask you again about how many people died in the accident when indeed you are not a medical doctor to pronounce somebody dead. Once again, the dilemma you have is that, unlike President Mills, you dare not say you are not the driver and therefore you are not in a position to determine the cause of the accident. Neither can you cheekily say you are not a doctor even though sometimes the questions may be something something.
When you were at Nima, one of your greatest achievements, in my view, was how you dealt seriously with these okada drivers and those who used unlicensed motorbikes at will and with flagrant disregard for the law. That perhaps led to your elevation to the MTTU to apply your skills beyond Nima and even Accra to sanitize the use of our roads nationally. My Oga brother, it seems to me that the number of unlicensed motorbikes on our roads out-number those which have been licensed as the law requires. We know that crimes like snatching of bags and other petty stealing are done in broad daylight by some users of unlicensed motorbikes. The situation seems to be getting out of hand.
From my observations, my brother, this group of homo sapiens called politicians are part of the problem. Are you asking me how? Hear me now. Ever since this country was ushered into the fourth republican democratic dispensation, there have been the creation of seasonal jobs for people, most of whom are unemployable by virtue of the fact that they have no or very little education or artisanal skills which make them employable for a decent living. Some criminally minded politicians have made it a point to seasonally recruit these groups of our compatriots to engage them in political crimes using criminal methods. So you see, my Oga brother, using criminal means to commit a crime can constitute treason, high or low, genocide, fratricide as well as homicide.
One of the tools for the commission of the political crimes I am talking about is the use of unlicensed motorbikes and vehicles. The reports of hooliganism and criminal impunity which have been recorded in our body politics, particularly during election years, have been done by people who use unregistered and unlicensed vehicles. You will agree with me, brother man, that the seasonal employees that committed impunities during the just-about-to-end biometric registration, like the destruction of registration equipment, used unlicensed and unregistered vehicles.
Whatever the problem, we have succeeded in wading through the muddying part of the registration exercise; the biggest river to cross is the election proper where politicians, instead of using the legitimate means of achieving victory, will want to use very criminal means to get what they want, such as machomen and drug-induced seasonal workers to intimidate, maim and even possibly kill to get victory.
My suggestion, soul brother, is that between now and the day of the general elections, your outfit should be very tough on users of unlicensed motorbikes and vehicles on our roads. In fact, I thought that unlicensed vehicles with temporary number plates, I mean the red ones, (not the diplomatic numbers ooo) should not be on our roads after 6pm. I may be wrong, but that is what I thought is the law. Today, these vehicles are seen criss-crossing our roads deep into the night.
Oga my brother, I further suggest that a few days to the election day, your office should decree that no unlicensed vehicle of whatever kind should be on our roads and this should be enforced vigorously. The pre-election day enforcement will put the fear of the Lord in the lawless users of our road and also save your outfit on the day of elections since your staff would be deployed to monitor the elections proper. My brother, I know this is likely to be a very arduous task for you and your outfit, but this will be your honest contributions towards a violent free and peaceful elections come December. I trust that you are capable of instilling discipline in our society, damn the consequences.
Thank you for reading this letter. I wish you the best. Anytime you travel to the Western Region, let me know so I can treat you to very fresh unadulterated mahogany bitters and fonfom with overnight palm-nut soup of the people of Ahanta.
Your loving and lost brother, Kwesi Bee
By Kwasi Biney