President Akufo Addo Shifts Insecurity Blame Onto IGP

President Akufo-Addo, has attempted to shift the growing incidence of insecurity and senseless murders in the country onto James Oppong-Boanuh, who is in the second year of his three-year contract after his mandatory retirement in 2018, as the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

According to the President, the IGP, as a matter of urgency should apprehend the killers of the late Member of Parliament (MP) for Mfantseman, Ekow Quansah Hayford.

The legislator was murdered on Friday, October 9 by unknown assailants, while returning from a campaign trip in the company of his aides.

The IGP, is overwhelmed by a general low morale among his officers and men. They keep complaining about lack of logistics to help maintain law and order and to secure the citizenry. Others also complain about politicization of the Service.

The President described the MP’s demise as a big blow to him, the incumbent NPP, as well as the people of Mfantseman and Ghana in general, adding the murder is a test case for the IGP.

….”is a big blow to me and this is why I have made it known to the IGP that if nothing is done about this particular matter, what will happen will happen,” President Akufo-Addo declared when he visited the bereaved family at their Mankessim residence in the Central Region.

Reacting to the President’s statement, a security analyst, Col. Festus Aboagye (Rtd.) has called on government to expand the resources of the Ghana Police Service to enable it effectively fight crime, adding it is not as simple as calling the IGP to do something he is not resourced to do.

“How many detectives do the police have? What level of training do they have to resolve complex cases like this one? How well are they resourced with funding to pay informants for information.”

According to him, the charge by President Akufo-Addo, to bring the armed robbers who killed the Mfantseman MP to book, will yield no results, if the prevailing conditions of the Service remain the same.

The President promised to take over the MP’s responsibilities by catering for the widow and children he left behind.

Akufo-Addo observed: “When you enter Parliament as a Member of Parliament, usually the first terms are used to study activities of the House. So, the second terms are the ones for doing the real work. So, I knew that in the 2020 elections, Ekow Quansah Hayford was going to win the seat, and he was one of the MPs I would have relied upon to help me in government but God knows best.”

He added, “I also came here to render my support to the family […], his children, and the family will be taken care of as far as I am alive and a well-deserving funeral will be done for him. Due to his hard work I had to stop whatever I was doing to visit the family to console you. I promise I will be present during his funeral as well”.

The IGP has, meanwhile, placed a GH¢20,000 bounty on the heads of the killers of the late MP who was killed shot on the Abeadze Dominase – Abeadze Duadzi – Mankessim Road on his return from a campaign trip on October 9.

In a statement issued by the Public Relations Directorate of the Ghana Police Service and signed by Superintendent of Police, Sheila Kesse Abayie-Buckman, the Ghana Police Service, explained that the money would only be given for credible information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of that heinous crime.

Speaking to Evans Mensah on Top Story, Col Aboagye (Rtd) argued that the quest to secure justice in this matter might be “too much to ask” considering the myriad of unsolved cases under the watch of the police service.

He highlighted some cases, including the killing of investigative journalist, Ahmed Suale, the Takoradi girls, J.B. Dankwah among others whose trails have gone cold with justice still hanging in the balance.

“There are unresolved cases dating back to about 2014 long before this IGP came onto the scene. So wouldn’t we be asking too much of the IGP to resolve a case like this which has parallels in some of the other cases that all of us term as unresolved cases?”

Col Aboagye understand that the President’s statement was made to apply some pressure on the IGP to accord the necessary professionalism to ensure the swift execution of justice.

However, he believes that it requires more than pressure.

He told Evans Mensah that the solution is not as “simple as calling in the IGP to do something that he hasn’t got the resources the resources to do.”

“How many detectives does the police have? What level of training do they have to resolve such complex cases like this one? How well are they resourced in funding to pay informants for information.”

Col. Aboagye (Rtd) further wants the government to channels its energy towards providing the service with ample logistics as well as enhancing the skills of personnel through the development of a strategic plan and efficient implementation mechanisms.

This, he believes, will adequately empower the police force and help them carry out their duties and effectively solve crime in the country.

“Let us expand the discourse to ask the IGP to make a presentation to the Minister of Interior to identify what the shortcomings, gaps or deficiencies are.

“What are the additional resources the IGP needs so that the police service can adequately detect crime and prevent crime before it happens,” he added.

According to the security analyst, “there is a shortage of police officers without disaggregating them into specialisations. The ratio of police to civilian is not adequate per the standard of the UN.

“On the assumption that we are 38 million Ghanaians, per the UN standard of 1:500 police to civilians, we need about 6,000 police. I am informed the police are about 37,000 in number so there is a shortfall of about 23,000 police.”

Mr Festus Aboagye (Rtd) stated that it is not as simple as calling the IGP to do something he is not resourced to do.

“How many detectives do the police have? What level of training do they have to resolve complex cases like this one? How well are they resourced with funding to pay informants for information.”

He, however, suggested that a five-to-ten year police professionalization or a police expansion initiative be instituted.

“During five-to-ten years, let us now aim to have adequate number of police, well trained and well resourced. Then we can make a case for those who need special protection,” he added.

On his part, a founding member of the governing NPP, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, raised concerns about the state of insecurity in the country with reference to recent developments and described the situation as “disturbing”.

Speaking on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show, Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, cited the murder of the kidnapped Takoradi girls, investigative journalist Ahmed Suale, MPs J.B. Danquah-Adu Jr. and Ekow Hayford; as well as the disturbances in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election as instances in which the country’s national security was jeopadised, adding that investigations into the numerous killings have not brought solutions.

“I have, in almost all my interviews, and they are quite a lot, cautioned the political class of this country that if they don’t sit up, they will be taken unawares.

“I’ve said it time and again on numerous occasions. What is happening now is a bit disturbing. When you have a system where the police appear to be ineffective, it is a bit disturbing to anyone at all,” he said.

He stressed that there is a problem with national security in the country.

“Having listed all these points, it comes out clearly that we have a problem with our national security setup; there’s no doubt about it. You ask yourself: how are they really manning the national security of this country?” he further quizzed.

Touching on the murder of the Mfantseman MP, Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, stressed the need to look at the root cause of the problem that is leading to the spate of such “serious crimes.”

In his view, the legislator’s death should not be seen as a case of armed robbery.

According to him, the incident was a planned murder by a group of people, considering the statements that the killers reportedly made.

Mr Hayford was shot dead by alleged armed robbers on Friday dawn.He was returning home from a campaign trip.

He reportedly revealed his identity to the robbers, who said: “You are those making life difficult for us”, before taking his life.

Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe also intimated that intensifying security in the state should be the topmost priority of parliamentarians instead of them demanding state protection.

He expressed surprise at the urgent call by the MPs for personal bodyguards following the Mfantseman MP’s murder.

Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe stressed that the whole country must have security, adding that it is important to find out the reasons for the recent happenings.

“I’m even surprised that such suggestions should come from MPs. I’m surprised. The core problem has to be looked at. MPs need to put the security of the state top of their agenda. That’s number one. Then find out why these things are going on,” he stated

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