“As you know, I have tasked the Attorney General to prepare and submit to Parliament, as soon as possible, specific legislation to deal with this phenomenon of vigilantism, and provide appropriate sanctions against its occurrence. I am asking for the full support of the Police Service in the passage of the law, and in its enforcement. We owe it to the Ghanaian people and to generations yet unborn to maintain the peace and stability of our nation, which our generation enjoys.”
These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the end-of-year WASSA of the Ghana Police Service, on Friday, 22nd March, 2019, at the Police Headquarters.
In his remarks, the President reiterated his commitment to ending the worrying and unacceptable phenomenon of vigilantism in Ghana’s body politic.
“As I indicated in my Message on the State of the Nation to Parliament, I am determined to end acts of political party vigilantism. I have said so on several occasions, and I will repeat it again. Crime is crime, it has no political colour, and the police should act against any person or group of persons engaged in unlawful acts,” he added.
Describing the peace, the safety of people, and the territorial integrity as the most important things for a nation, President Akufo-Addo noted that the issue of law and order is particularly germane in the country, at a time when indiscipline, lawlessness, kidnappings, murders, assault by and against police officers, vigilantism, amongst others, are threatening the rule of law.
Government, the President added, is determined to work with the Police Service to guarantee the security of citizens in accordance with the rule of law, and assured that whatever support is required to ensure that the country has a Police Service that the people of Ghana deserve will be done.
“And to that end, we are, amongst others, constructing a new National Detective Training Academy in Kenyasi No.1, in the Ahafo Region; and we have promoted one thousand, five hundred and two (1,502) senior police officers and eighteen thousand, eight hundred and fifty-three (18,853) junior officers, since I took office in 2017, with over two thousand, two hundred and thirty (2,230) in the first quarter of 2019, a development which has been described as unprecedented by the IGP,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, “The construction of three hundred and twenty (320) housing units for officers at the National Police Training Academy is ongoing, and four thousand (4,000) police officers are being recruited into the Service, with two thousand (2,000) already under training. Government has, so far, supplied three hundred and twenty (320) vehicles to the Police Service, with two hundred and seventy-three (273) soon to be delivered. In addition, three (3) helicopters are being procured to facilitate Police operations, with some selected Police Officers set to be trained as pilots.”
Touching on the image of the Police Service, President Akufo-Addo commended the police for arresting the ‘trotro’ driver and his ‘mate’ who assaulted a police officer, Constable Julius Mawuli Ekpe, on the Mallam-Kasoa road in Accra.
“In and around the same time, some police officers were also seen assaulting two journalists, Malik Sulemana and Raissa Sambou. I am happy that the IGP has moved quickly to interdict the police officers, who were responsible for the assault, ordering immediate investigations into the matter,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo noted that “it is important for the growth and development of society that justice is done to all manner of persons without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. It is in everybody’s interest that the Police Service retains the neutrality and professionalism guaranteed under the Constitution.”
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.