The Police Administration says violence and political thuggery is an unfortunate introduction in Ghana’s democratic space and therefore considers political vigilantism a threat to the country’s democratic dispensation.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, David Asante Apeatu said to contextualize vigilantism and violence in the country’s body politic, it is important to note that it reared its ugly head even before independence.
According to the IGP, the police since the unfortunate election related violence in the Ayawaso West Wagon By-election on January 31, 2019, decided to work extra hard but in ‘silence’ towards finding a lasting solution to this ‘recurrent menace’.
“This approach was to allow space for Ghanaians, Government, Civil Society groups, the Media, International community as well as all necessary stakeholders in our democracy to do what they think can be done to stop this growing menace we call political vigilantism.” That’s according to the IGP.
He said the police is responsible for enforcing the law and will not shirk its responsibility to fight political violence.
He said the police is encouraged by the position of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo when he stated in an address to the National House of chiefs in Kumasi that his government would tackle the menace of vigilantism head-on .
“If you prescribe a security solution to a politically motivated problem, you may only be reducing the pain but not curing the disease. That is how come the police from independence have had to battle with this problem which has grown into an issue” -IGP
The IGP said his administration is glad in noticing that Ghanaians as well as the international community have condemned the violence unleashed on some citizens of the country in all election related violence.
The IGP said the collective condemnation has given the police some impetus to begin to think afresh knowing that the public will stand with police in enforcing the law without fear or favour.
Shows a table, which indicates January 2019 recorded the least cases of robbery in the past 5 years compared to the years 2015 to 2018. pic.twitter.com/euqjkDkKPv
— Ghana Police Service (@GhPoliceService) February 14, 2019
Overview of security situation as regards kidnappings & murders presented by ACP, George Tweneboah, Deputy Director-General/CID
The Deputy Director-General/CID, George Tweneboah gave an overview of the security situation in the country as regards to kidnappings and murders.
He said the measures taken to prevent recurrence of kidnapping include ‘Public Education, Intensification of Foot and Mobile Patrols in the Communities, Reactivation of Police Engagements with Hoteliers/Guest Houses for information on persons with suspicious characters.
Murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein Suale.
Some people who might be connected with the killing have been interviewed and statements obtained from them. Evidence involved in the murder are currently under forensic investigation. That’s according to the Deputy Director-General/CID
Murder of Josephine Asante Tandoh of GPHA.
“Arrested suspects were arraigned before court and remanded into police custody. Husband of the deceased has appeared before a team of investigators at the Homicide Unit.” – Deputy Director-General/CID
He indicated that contacts have been made with the Australian Police through Interpol/Accra for the location and interview of the ex-husband, who has a son with the deceased.
“All clues are being pursued to unravel the murder” AG/CID
IGP’s presentation was apt.
For his part, the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa said the Ghana Armed Forces believes in the Police Service.
“We agree with IGP on zero tolerance for vigilantism”. “We stand foursquare behind the Police to carry out its operations”
He said Article 41 of the Constitution enjoins everyone to cooperate in fighting crime.
He gave the assurance that the Ghana Armed Forces will support the IGP and his men hundred percent.
Information gathered by Ruth Abla Adjorlolo