The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) have called on government to cancel the ongoing secret recruitment exercise of personnel into the Police Service, Prisons Service and Immigration Service with immediate effect.
In a release signed by James Agalga, MP, Builsa North and Ranking Member, Defence and Interior Committee of parliament partly read, “…several qualified applicants who had been shortlisted and were only waiting to be invited for medical screening have been denied the opportunity to serve their country. Only those connected to the NPP government in one way or the other were selected and trained.”
The statement continued that with respect to the recruitment exercise into the agencies, made a call on President Akufo Addo to institute the necessary measures to eschew cronyism and nepotism and stick to the required procedures.
Read full statement below:
MINORITY PRESS STATEMENT ON THE SECRET RECRUITMENT OF PERSONNEL INTO THE SECURITY AGENCIES UNDER THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR
The attention of the Minority in Parliament has been drawn to an ongoing recruitment exercise of personnel into agencies under the Ministry of the Interior namely; the Police Service, Prisons Service and the Ghana Immigration Service in total disregard of established procedures for the recruitment of personnel into those agencies.
In specific reference to the Police, sometime in 2018, the government of President Akufo Addo announced that financial clearance had been given for the recruitment of 4000 personnel into the service. Accordingly, the service advertised for the recruitment of 2000 in the first instance, whereupon, prospective recruits applied through the e-recruitment model. The applicants, we are reliably informed went through all the necessary procedures including meeting the academic requirement of having a minimum of six credits (Maths and English inclusive), taking part in a competitive exam and going through a thorough medical examination. After this, the Police administration then compiled a list of qualified applicants in readiness for publication and the issuance of invitation letters for the commencement of training.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the otherwise smooth recruitment exercise embarked upon by the Police administration took a nosedive when the government of President Akufo Addo suddenly ordered the former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Asante Apeatu to suspend the recruitment exercise until further notice. Subsequently, a new list other the than the list originally prepared by the Police administration was compiled and submitted by the government of President Akufo Addo to the police administration for the issuance of invitation letters for training. The crux of the above narrative is that the recruitment exercise undertaken by the police administration in 2018 following the grant of financial clearance by the Finance Ministry was truncated at the tail end and taken over directly by the NPP government contrary to its own commitment to stamp out fraud and cronyism from the recruitment of personnel into the security agencies.
The effect of government’s direct usurpation of the mandate of the police administration to properly screen and select qualified applicants for purposes of recruitment is that, several qualified applicants who had been shortlisted and were only waiting to be invited for medical screening have been denied the opportunity to serve their country. Only those connected to the NPP government in one way or the other were selected and trained.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, just as the recruitment of personnel into the Police Service in 2018 was characterized by outright nepotism and procedural breaches, the recruitment exercise which is currently ongoing is to say the least fraudulent. In 2019, there has been no advertisement whatsoever for recruitment into the Police Service. Consequently, no applications have been received or processed in the e-recruitment portal of the Police Service which can be accessed online. And yet, certain individuals have been invited and are being taken through medical screening for purposes of getting them recruited.
The story is not any different with the Prisons and Immigration Services. Both Services like the Police have not advertised for recruitment in 2019. In the particular case of the Immigration Service, we are reliably informed that they have secretly invited mainly cronies of the NPP and taken them through screening and medical examination at the Prisons Training School for recruitment. In all, the Immigration Service is hoping to secretly recruit 700 junior officers and 150 senior officers.
The Prisons Service has also, sometime last week invited persons in suspicious circumstances for medical screening for purposes of recruitment.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the minority will ordinarily be happy to see the Police population ratio and the staff strength of the Immigration and Prison Services improve or meet minimum UN Standards in order to enhance our collective security. However, an increase in the numbers of personnel within our security services will only contribute to our collective security if the recruitment processes are transparent and devoid of partisan political manipulation.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the NDC government in 2012 introduced the e-recruitment policy in order to bring to the barest minimum the level of human involvement in recruitment processes as a way of curbing fraud and promoting transparency. Notwithstanding the success chalked by the erstwhile NDC government in this regard, the NPP in opposition in 2016 made recruitment an issue in its manifesto in the following words;
“(a) review and restructure recruitment into our police service to stamp out the fraud and cronyism that have been introduced into this process by the Mahama led NDC government”.
Quite evidently, the conduct of President Akufo Addo’s government with regards to recruitment into the security agencies sharply contradicts his own manifesto pledge captured above.
Flowing from the above, the minority hereby demands the immediate cancellation of the secret recruitment exercise embarked upon by the Police, Prisons and Immigration Services in 2019.
We also call upon President Akufo Addo to institute measures to root out, cronyism and nepotism with respect to recruitment Into the security agencies.
We thank you for your attention.
JAMES AGALGA, MP, BUILSA NORTH AND RANKING MEMBER, DEFENCE AND INTERIOR COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT.