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07.01.2020 Feature Article

Tsunami Hit Police Command?

Tsunami Hit Police Command?
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The Police Command in Ghana is buttoning up its law enforcement gear, in the wake of last Friday shake-up as the new Boss appears to be introducing new policies, procedures or technology that will ensure effective and efficient policing in the country.

You might call it a major shift but not so in the prism of some security operatives.

"This is nothing unusual," says a police source. According to the source, the action taken by the new IGP is in keeping with tradition.

"All Police Chiefs line up a team to help them execute their jobs," says the source.

Police Officers On Contract

However, there's something ironic about this team 'line up'. I've gathered that the police leadership at the Headquarters is made up of 40 percent of individuals who were due for compulsory retirement but lobbied and had it extended by the governing NPP ---a development the source argues doesn't bode well for an institution that recruits personnel every year. The mode at which the extension is arbitrarily executed has fueled tribal, political and even regional tension, the source told me.

This phenomenon, I also learned is fomenting bitterness and apathy in the police service today. The most unconventional was promotion of a contractee from DCOP to COP. Again, the source reveals, persons who got extension in contract in the past were made to fall a step in rank and also prohibited them to wear the police uniform but dressed in civil.

Why the dress change?

The wisdom in this, he said, "since the contracted retiree must lose a rank, he was compelled to wear a civil dress so that he or she would not feel humiliated. Somehow the decision is also to discourage service extension.."

A situation where a contracted officer is promoted I am told has incurred the displeasure of the rank and file of the service as some have threatened to appropriately reward the government come December 2020.

The Akufo-Addo Administration, the source notes started well when it let go some senior police officers who were due for their terminal leave but sought to hang on. Notable among them were former CID Boss, COP Bright Oduro, the current EOCO Boss, COP Frank Adu Poku. But not anymore... that 'shining example' as the source describes it, is now overshadowed by the new and dangerous trend.

Question is: Why keep or retain old horses in the stable when you have an exuberant youth struggling to get placement in the police force?

Maame Tiwaa demoted?

Nonetheless, one cannot downplay the significance of the January 3rd shake-up.

The move has seen Director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Maame Tiwaa Addo-Danquah lose her position.

Mrs Addo-Danquah had held the CID post for two years but her tenure was wrought by troubles and controversies. The kidnappings of three Takoradi Girls, her infamous claim that she knew their whereabouts, (which turned out to be untrue) and her unprofessional or slapdash investigations into some high profile cases---all made her unpopular. In addition, she was in a number of times reckless and grossly unprofessional.

I should add that there were eleven (11) other senior officers who couldn't escape the changing storm otherwise known as tsunami.

And this seems to be the first major reshuffle carried out at the top police hierarchy since Mr. James Oppong-Buanoh was confirmed IGP in October last year 2019. Prior to his confirmation, he was named acting IGP following the relieving of Mr David Asante-Appeatu in July 22, 2019. The police chief himself is on contract!

Seismic shift?

This shift in command, is long overdue, according to some social media users/commentators but others think otherwise.

One security analyst has described the action as seismic shift. He says even though the police service have done remarkably well in terms of policing----particularly during the 2019 Yuletide, there's the need for a major transformation.

"I think some command officers were sleeping on the job and this seismic shift has perhaps woken them up. They felt too comfortable where they were... And I hold the view that those guys should have been "sacked" long time ago, because of the tragic events that occurred in 2017/18 especially, (the cold blood murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Suale, kidnappings and the killings of the Takoradi three girls."

"Those harrowing events among others' he says, make the IGP's action relevant and timely."

When and how it happened

On Friday 3, January 2020, the IGP issued a letter that announced the shake-up.

The police chief had penned down 12 commanding officers for the inevitable reshuffle.

A change has arrived. The cliche-- 'business as usual' will have no place under this new command. And per that change effectIve 15th of January 2020, the CID boss and all the senior officers named in the said letter should proceed to where they'd duly been directed to.

So who's replacing who

and to where?

COP Maame Tiwaa who came under fire, amid calls for her removal in the wake of the murder of the Takoradi Three Girls is handing over the baton to a certain COP Ken I. Yeboah.

Was she sacked?

Was she removed?

Was she fired or dismissed?

Was she demoted or promoted?

I loosely call it a shift.

BUT yes, Maame Tiwaa has been replaced by COP Isaac Ken Yeboah, former Director-General in charge of administration.

I know Ken personally. He has IT. And his track record is unquestionably excellent. It's my hope that he'll be given the latitude to dispense his duties. I know Ken, we used to catch the bad guys together. 'The Afrikiko Raid in 1999' readily comes to mind.

Who else has been shifted?

George Akuffo Dampare whose name popped up as a likely candidate for the IGP post, in the aftermath of Appeatus' removal has been named director of Administration while, COP Christian Tetteh Yohunu (MTTD) has also been assigned to Special Duties. Next is, COP Francis Ebenezer Doku, former Director-General special duties he's moving to or will be in charge of service workshops.

The rise and 'shift'

of Maame Tiwaa

In October 2017, the then Deputy Director-General of CID was appointed to head the Intel outfit in an acting capacity, following the retirement of Mr. Bright Oduro. As fate would have it, in January 2018, she was confirmed as the substantive Director-General.

And on the 1st of April 2019, she was promoted in rank from Deputy Commissioner of Police to Commissioner of Police.

Is the command ready for the change?

I put this question to one police commander in Accra.

"Change is not a bad idea, but it doesn't come easy for most law enforcement agencies, not only police. I'm not in their shoes, so I can't speak for them whether they will see their new positions as a challenge to transform and make the Service a formidable one," he remarked.

Indeed the human mind is an impermeable perimeter. How would he know? He doesn't have Elijah's eye. But could this shift from the hit cause rift among the rank and file or it would turn out to bring good omen?

Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Gordon Offin-Amaniampong, © 2020

The author has 371 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: GordonOffinAmaniampong

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