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01.07.2005 Feature Article

Mass Transfer In Police Service: a rejoinder

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The countrywide transfer of Police Officers who have stayed in one Police station for more than five years is a good logistical move by the Inspector General of Police Mr P.K.Acheampong. However the underlying cause of poor Police moral across the country is poor housing and pay and that must be address first.

Despite the difficulties and hardships that our men and women in the Ghana Police Force and the Armed Forces face, they still exhibit professionalism in the performance and discharge of their duties both at home and on international assignment. Like our national soccer team, The Black Stars, our men and women in the Armed and Police Forces can be guaranteed to rise to the occasion when the pride of the nation is at stake. This writer had the opportunity to observed the true professionalism of the Ghana Police Force in Pristina, Kosovo during the Balkan crisis when he visited the region on another assignment.

As every Ghanaian knows, the horrible living conditions and lack of equipment and provisions for our Police personal, who sometimes have to confront the brute force of armed robbers from neighbouring countries, using simple policing skills, at time cost of unnecessary police lives. This lack of equipment moved the Ghanaian community in London to set up the Police Endowment Fund to help supplement what the merge resources at their disposal.

During the time of the NDC administrations of 1992 and 1996 and the NPP of 2000 this writer and various called on the central government to set a 5 - Year Social Development Programme to address issues like poor housing for our Key Workers (Teachers/Lecturers, Armed and Police Force and Doctors/Nurses) the very workers that are playing a very vital role in our quest for the VISION 2020, the emerging “street children” phenomenon and rehabilitation of our primary schools and primary health centres. Yes we do know the constraints placed on the government to pay loans taken in the name of Ghana by thugs in years gone by. These men and women serving the motherland, perhaps some of the best public servants that one can find anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, join the service not because of money but rather to serve….and where ever they go they show the same dedication to service. Thus it is incumbent on all Ghanaians both in diaspora and at home to help uplift the poor conditions of our public service workers. These highly skill professionals work under deplorable conditions which is not acceptable at all. And the blame lies squarely with both NDC and the NPP administrations for cutting back on the investment that should have gone into these sectors. However, having said that it must be acknowledged that much of our resources are use to service our debts mainly to the Bank/Fund and other financial institutions in the West. Where this writer disagree with the NDC and now the NPP is the true uses of the huge inflows from Ghanaians in diaspora.

Unlike the NDC administration this government and in fact the Governor of Bank of Ghana have both acknowledged the impact the resources to the Ghanaian economy. What the diaspora community wants is for them to spell out the uses of the funds, that is to TELL US WHAT THEY USE THE MONEY FOR. This should not be difficult for them to explain and explain they must. The issue of ACCOUNTABILITY WILL COME TO THE FORE COME 2008 ELECTIONS. EVERY ACTION WILL BE ACCOUNTED FOR AND EVERY VOTES WILL BE COUNTED.

We are fortunate that despite the moaning going on at the barracks, classrooms, hospitals and health centres, our service men and women have not laid down their tools in support of their grievances but diligently and dutifully performing their duties in the face of hardships.

What are the solutions:

With regard to the police barracks spread countrywide these are huge assets that the government can either develop in partnership with the private sector or use the Private Finance Initiative to develop them and then lease them back. The other solution is to sell off the barracks and give the Police men and women soft loans to go and purchase their own properties on the open market or through the SSINT initiatives. The same measures can be use for the teachers/lecturers. With Regard to the Armed Forces, the only solution is to upgrade their housing in the barracks.

The question that needs to be ask is where will the funds come from? The large inflows that pour into the country every year, now running into billions of dollars should and must be set aside for these developments. Every one knows that the working and living conditions of the public servants are poor, yet these men and women are the ones holding the fort for the future generations. The last but not the least in this equation is our farmers and market women. Ghana still depends on agriculture, which forms large part of her national income. A large amount of this contribution comes from the sweat of our farmers. Most of the work in the farms are performed by our mothers and sisters. Gender inequality deprive our sisters from going to school and or when there is hardship with regards to family finances our sisters are the first to be pulled out of school in favour of the boys. Thus depriving them of acquiring knowledge. They suffer in silence hoping that when (young Kwadwo in Brong Ahafo Region, Allahassan in Northern Ghana, Yao in Volta Region, Kwamina in Western Region, Abeku in Central, Akwasi in Ashanti Region, Nii in Greater Accra etc) they have completed their education will one day look after her and her children.

That is the society that we all grow up in and respect. Our mothers and sisters who work on the farm as farm hands and take their produce to market on market days to sell in order to help feed the nation deserve gratitude so as are public servants whose tax that the government use to educate us. Anyone who went to boarding/day school in Ghana up until the early 1980s would understand the notion behind this argument in favour of arguing for the government to earmark some of the large resources from we the diaspora in social development. We pay fees, but that was nothing in regards to the knowledge that we did acquired, at times making fun of the tattered clothes of Mr Marfo our Maths tutor or Mrs Yao our French Tutor. Yet these men and women never gave up. We walk past the Police barracks on vacation from secondary school and we see the deplorable conditions that Corporal Yakubu and his family live and we make fun of them, yet he watches our home when go away to school. That is the what this writer is calling on the authorities to address. Due to the nature of their service restrictions these men and woman are voiceless. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Peter Nee Jeffrey
Peter Nee Jeffrey, © 2005

The author has 54 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: PeterNeeJeffrey

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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