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04.08.2004 General News

Govt Give Preferential Treatment To Military?

By Chronicle
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- Cars yes, but what about conditions of service?

The Chronicle can report today that there is uneasy calm in the Ghana Police Service, following an alleged preferential treatment being given to the military than the police by the government.

Sources that spoke to The Chronicle said the police service of today had been plagued with so many problems but the government appeared adamant in addressing them, apart from cars she imported to make personnel mobile.

According to the sources, a new recruit in the military was being paid around ¢1.4 million, whilst a corporal in the police service was receiving around ¢800,000 is a month.

The Chronicle also gathered that allowances paid to the military had also gone up, but nothing of the sort has happened to the police.

This reporter was told that even this year's minimum wage announced by the government had still not reflected on the salaries of police personnel, who go to the same market as the other security forces and Ghanaians as a whole.

The sources further told The Chronicle that among the security forces it was the police who had the poorest accommodation but nothing was being done to address the problem, even though their counterparts were enjoying better accommodation and better condition of service.

This reporter gathered from the sources that somewhere this year, a directive was given to all corporals living in Sekondi Takoradi metropolis, especially the Sekondi police district, to occupy only one room with their families to enable new recruits who had been posted to the district to have an accommodation.

This directive was said to have created tension among police personnel in the district who protested until the IGP himself reportedly came in to reverse the decision.

The protest from the personnel was based on the fact that the rooms they are occupying could best be described as a cubicle therefore to move to a single room of that sort was unreasonable.

Some police personnel who spoke to The Chronicle on condition of anonymity said the government appeared to have taken the advantage of their inability to go on street demonstration to protest against such a poor conditions of service to cheat them looking at the large gap between them and the military in terms of salary.

“This government made so many promises to us which they have failed to do. They are rather giving much consideration to the military. We will not say anything now. Another election is coming and will know how to render our policing duties,” one of the personnel told this reporter.

The Chronicle was told that because of this alleged poor condition of service tension in the service was very high especially in places like Kumasi, Ho, Takoradi and other places.

This reporter was also hinted about this allegation of political interference in the work of the police.

According to another source that spoke to The Chronicle, sometimes pressures are brought to bear on personnel of the service by some of the political bigwigs to drop the prosecution of certain cases that should have gone to court.

“This means that it is only poor people that will always be thrown into jail because they do not know anybody to fight their case for them,” the source said.

When contacted the director in charge of public relations at the police headquarters in Accra, ASP David Eklu, debunked the allegation that the government was paying much more attention to the military than the police.

He said the police service as an institution might have its own problems but it would be wrong for one to conclude that much more attention was being paid to the military than the police.

ASP Eklu told The Chronicle that the police administration had started working on a new condition of service for the personnel and therefore called on his colleagues to exercise patience and wait for the outcome.

On the issue of lack of accommodation, he said the police administration had already issued a circular to all the regions, directing personnel who had no accommodation to rent some in town and bring the bill for them to pay.

He also appealed to community leaders who have accommodation not to hesitate in coming to the aid of the personnel who lacked accommodation.

David Eklu also said the new minimum wage had not indeed reflected on their salaries because of technical hitches which were being rectified and that the increment would soon reflect on their salaries, as they had indicated on the circular they had sent out to all the regions.

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