Accra, March 15 (Daily Graphic) -- THE names of six top police officers have emerged as the group from which a successor to the position of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) will be chosen when the incumbent, Nana Owusu-Nsiah, retires.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the possible successor will be named by the close of the week to prepare the ground for the handover either before or on March 24, 2005, the day the tenure of the incumbent reaches the statutory retiring age.
The six top officers are the two Deputy Inspector-Generals of Police, Mrs Elizabeth Mills-Robertson and Mr Patrick K. Acheampong.
The rest are Dr Kofi Kesse Manfo, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations; Mr David Asante-Apeatu, the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department; Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Research and Planning, and Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, currently Deputy Chief of Police, UN Mission in Liberia, in charge of monitoring and restructuring the Police Force of Liberia.
Sources close to the Police Headquarters and the government speak of intense lobbying from a number of competent and qualified aspirants but it appears that the appointing authority is looking for something extra.
What makes the competition keener is the fact that the question of seniority among the six personalities will not so much be the consideration by the appointing authority.
From history, issues of merit, moral and professional conduct, loyalty and hard work had been crucial in the choice of an IGP, highly placed government sources stressed.
From the days of the appointment of Mr J. Y. Kwofie, through Mr Peter Nanfuri to Nana Owusu-Nsiah, Deputy Commissioners had been appointed over serving Commissioners of Police.
Among the critical issues being considered, according to sources, are age and the number of years left before retirement.
Highly crucial is the issue of who commands the respect of and has the ability to inspire men and officers of the service.
The successor should also have the confidence of the other security agencies, the sources indicated.
There are expectations that the successful candidate should have at least three or four more years to serve. This is in line with the government's desire not to appoint persons who only have a year or two to serve. This is to ensure long-term planning and development of the service.
Also critical for the possible successor is the person's ability to continue the path beaten by Nana Owusu Nsiah to unite and motivate the personnel to deliver on the service's constitutional mandate.
Operational efficiency and effectiveness, as well as commitment to duty, are also among the qualities being considered.
Besides these, is the issue of ethnicity which the appointing authority says is very important. This is to ensure that the position is not seen as the property of any particular ethnic group.
The six personalities being considered have the requisite academic qualifications and police experience to deliver. They will, therefore, be judged on the other considerations.
Mr Acheampong, an Ashanti, holds an M.A. in Police Studies and Criminal Justice. He is also a Barrister at Law, and has had stints with various units of the Ghana Police Service, including being the Director of CID before his appointment as Deputy IGP incharge of Operations.
Mrs Mills-Robertson, a Fanti, who was incharge of courts before her appointment as Deputy IGP, is also a Barrister at Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Ghana.
Dr Manfo, an Akyem, seems to enjoy popular support among police personnel. His operational capabilities have never been in doubt. He has often endeared himself to the public for the way and manner he discusses operational issues and tackles problems.
He is from Akyem Achiase in the Eastern Region. He has also been in at the scene of most trouble spots in the country.
Mr Asante-Apeatu, a document analyst and ballistic expert from Anum has, since his appointment as Director of CID, reorganised and transformed the CID using teamwork as a basic guiding principle. This has endeared him to personnel of the CID.
Although very little is known about Mr Quaye, a Ga, information available to the Graphic talks about his forthrightness and open-door policy. He has also endeared himself to personnel of the service.
Mr Quaye, a computer scientist, indicates in his profile at the police website that his objective is to work and attain the highest level of efficiency in whatever capacity he finds himself. His ethnic background seems to be his strongest point.
Mr Alhassan, a Dagomba, holds a Master of Science degree in Police Administration and Criminology. He has also endeared himself so much not only to personnel of the police but also the UN.
That is why shortly after returning to Ghana in 2002 to assume Command Operations for the Southern Sector following a long period of service on UN duties from 1989, the UN requested for his services again to restructure the Liberian Police Force.
His prowess in civilian police duties also landed him a lucrative job with the African Union but he had to turn it down to serve Ghana until the UN requested for his services again in November 2003.
The competition for the foremost police job is so keen that some government and party functionaries are said to have joined the fray to lobby for their favourable candidates.
The curriculum vitae and the backgrounds of the various candidates are currently being checked and double checked by the intelligence agencies, according to police sources.
Any misconduct in the past or an association with any unproductive group may jeopardise one's chances.