June 18, 2024

Security policy expert, Anthony Acquaye, has slammed the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, over the police service’s position on the comments made by one of its officers, DCOP Gabriel Prince, on how security is going to be handled in the 2024 general elections.

According to him, the police service’s statement, which disassociated it from Deputy Commissioner of Police Gabriel Prince’s comments that the Ghana Armed Forces would not be involved in providing security for the 2024 general elections, was a sign of cowardice and weakness on the part of the IGP.

This comes after the police service, in a statement on February 20, 2024, dissociated itself from comments made by the senior officer in a television interview on February 19, 2024.

During the interview, the police officer, DCOP Gabriel Prince, stated that the Ghana Armed Forces would not be involved in the provision of security for the 2024 general elections

However, these comments were deemed unfounded and not reflective of the stance of the Ghana Police Service in a subsequent statement.

As a result, the police stated that the senior officer is being subjected to internal disciplinary processes of the Ghana Police Service.

Reacting to the police’s position, Anthony Acquaye, in a statement, noted that the comments made by DCOP Gabriel reflect the aspirations of many Ghanaians.

He explained that in the face of electoral-related violence in recent times, it is the wish of many Ghanaians that the military is not involved in electoral activities.

He referenced the police’s successful supervision of two crucial by-elections at Kumawu and Assin North, without military involvement, as evidence of the confidence in the IGP’s leadership.

So, for the police to make a U-turn because of a comment from one of its officials, the expert added, contradicts the IGP’s leadership and performance, which had earned him the trust and respect of many Ghanaians.

“Mr IGP, I must tell you in your face that this statement from your outfit has exposed your cowardness, for not being the man you portray yourself to be, your inability to stand firm by the guiding principle and upholding the golden rule of oneness in the service, by sacrificing a fellow senior most officer whose statement gave hope and assurance to Ghanaians on how prepared and capable your institution is, ahead of the forthcoming 2024 general election.

“Mr IGP, the statement from your outfit is not only unfortunate but also demoralised the spirits of your men and women and exposes the weakness of your leadership,” part of the statement read.

The expert further challenged IGP Dampare to come out and explain to Ghanaians what was factually wrong with the statements made by DCOP Prince, which had warranted him being subjected to an internal disciplinary process.

“Mr IGP, I am by this write-up challenging the Ghana Police Service under your leadership to come out and explain to Ghanaians what is factually wrong with the statement made by DCOP Gabriel Prince Waabu which has warranted him to be subjected to an internal disciplinary process.

“Mr IGP, I need answers to these questions, Is it not factually correct that the 1992 constitution mandates the police institution as the custodian of the country’s internal security operations in maintaining peace, law and order? Again, which part of the 1992 constitution states that the decision by the police not to involve the military in election security in Ghana is unconstitutional?” he questioned.

What DCOP Prince said in the interview that warranted the disassociation and discipline by the Ghana Police Service

“Like how we organized all those elections within last year and whatever happened in 2022, a lesson has been learned out of it. We are not maybe going to involve the military, as it were, because it was not even the police that came up with this issue.

“So, it’s going to be only the police, prisons, fire and immigration that is going to conduct these elections. They are going to support us; it is our baby, it is the police’s baby, but we will want to co-opt in our sister security to help in one way or the other,” he explained.

Read Anthony Acquaye’s full statement below:

OPEN LETTER TO THE IGP OF THE GHANA POLICE SERVICE

Dear Mr IGP,

I write about a letter released under your command and control dated 19th February 2024 with reference number and heading; PAD/PRESS/VOL4/1/93 and POLICE STATEMENT ON COMMENT BY DCOP MR GABRIEL PRINCE WAABU ON ELECTION SECURITY respectively, where the Police Service claimed to disassociate itself from a comment made by DCOP Gabriel Prince, during a panel discussion on JoyNews, that the Police Service had learned lessons on ensuring peaceful elections, which means it will exclude the military from this year’s election.

Mr IGP, I am putting it to you that the statement made by DCOP Gabriel Prince Waabu has been the aspiration of many Ghanaians looking forward to seeing you achieve it, as one of your strategic goals going into the 2024 general election after parading your gallant men and women to successfully supervise two crucial by-elections at Kumawu and Assin North without the direct involvement of the military which made some of us have the confidence in your leadership to fully ensure that the authority given to the Ghana Police Service by the 1992 constitution is strictly exercise without any fear or favour.

But Mr IGP, I must tell you in your face that this statement from your outfit has exposed your cowardness, for not being the man you portray yourself to be, your inability to stand firm by the guiding principle and upholding the golden rule of oneness in the service, by sacrificing a fellow senior most officer whose statement gave hope and assurance to Ghanaians on how preparedness and capable your institution is, ahead of the forthcoming 2024 general election.

Mr IGP, the statement from your outfit is not only unfortunate but also demoralises the spirits of your men and women and exposes the weakness of your leadership.

Mr IGP, I am by this write-up challenging the Ghana Police Service under your leadership to come out and explain to Ghanaians what is factually wrong with the statement made by DCOP Gabriel Prince Waabu which has warranted him to be subjected to an internal disciplinary process.

Mr IGP, I need answers to these questions; Is it not factually correct that the police institution is mandated by the 1992 constitution as the custodian of the country’s internal security operations in maintaining peace, law and order? Again, which part of the 1992 constitution states that the decision by the police not to involve the military in election security in Ghana is unconstitutional?

Mr IGP, learning from the 2020 General Election, where eight citizens were killed by soldiers, with one of their justifications linked to how they are trained in handling civilian matters born fundamentally out of the military doctoral framework, I would expect that, if your administration has in its election security strategy to involve soldiers at the front line in the forthcoming 2024 general election, Ghanaians should by now know the explicit role of the military and how you are going to address the command and control friction that emerges between the police and the soldiers during joint security operation, and moreover, how soldiers can be educated on the basic law enforcement practices and policing culture to avoid some of this unfortunate incident that occurred during the 2020 general election.

Signed

Anthony Acquaye

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