A senior research fellow at the African Security Dialogue and Research, Emmanuel Sowatey, has advised Ghanaians, especially the media to allow the police system to operate and refrain from passing comments as to who qualifies to be the next Inspector General of Police, in order not to create a volatile condition in the service.
Even though cabinet is yet to take any decision on the IGP Patrick Acheampong after being referred to it by the Minister of Interior, following the Georgina Wood Committee's report for his professional conduct, there has been allegations of serious lobbying at the police headquarters and media speculations as to “who becomes the next IGP?”.
Emmanuel Sowatey said about the speculations, which cited officers of lower rank in place of the most senior ones that there is no need to rush on the issue, which needs to be treated with the maximum caution. He said “by acting carefully, we would make sure that we don't necessarily create further division within the police hierarchy.
Although he noted that anyone whose rank is up to a commissioner is a potential IGP, yet he said if care is not taken, “it would demoralize the senior ones who have strived to achieve certain positions in the service. We should give the impression that we respect seniority, and then people would endeavour to achieve those positions”.
Despite his comments, one could deduce that Mr Sowatey if given the chance may root for youthful and exuberant officers in contrast to “the old days where we need the most senior to be the IGP”. Yet, he said “sometimes we need to be decent and respect certain politicians, so that people would be encouraged and feel that they are not being undermined. It should be balanced, so that it does not go to undermine the trust and spirit of the institution”.
He was not happy that the country has from the past failed to utilize the rich experience of its retired police and other security officers.
He urged the government to consult retired police personnel especially those from commissioners and above what would be the best practices in times like this. “In Ghana, we don't use them too well. If we are able to exploit their rich experience that can help any government.
Mr Sowatey also advised the government to carry out an extensive consultation with the agencies to arrive on who is the best for the position of the IGP.