IGP David Asante-Apeatu
Those who spawned the granting of contracts to retired or retiring superior police officers have caused a telling situation in the law enforcement system in the country. It started under the tenure of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who perfected to their needs as a means of gratifying cops who showed unalloyed allegiance to the government such as maltreating demonstrators including plucking their eyes. Like an infectious contagion, it remains a septic sore waiting for the attention of the physician.
We do not think that it is a policy dear to the heart of the President given his obsession with procedural treatment of issues. It would interest the Police Council to note that the recent promotion of a celebrated Police Officer, Oppong Boanuh, to the position of Deputy Inspector General of Police is a source of grumbling among surprisingly both the top echelon of the Service and the other ranks.
While we acknowledge the law enforcement officer’s pedigree, we would be quick to add that this, notwithstanding the grumbling among the cops, stems from the fear about a possibility of the man being appointed the IGP when the incumbent makes his exit.
Continuation of an aberration initiated by the NDC should not attract commendation from those who wish the Police Service and the government Godspeed in the rather challenging task of undoing the negative things of the previous dispensation.
Some social media platforms are awash with stories about this subject and the Deputy Inspector General of Police clocking 60 today vis a vis his new appointment. Of course, relatively young officers who should have moved a notch after the exiting of their bosses would have to, as it is said in regimental parlance, ‘mark time.’
Morale is a critical factor in every organization more so in the military and paramilitary setups. It is the reason why those who cherish an efficient performance of the law enforcement system would rather untoward standards are denied oxygen.
Having been established by the previous government, we appreciate the difficulties in putting a halt to it but that is why we have the Police Council ably constituted to effect positive changes in the lives of the institutions under it.
We have had concerns from both serving and retired persons proffering constructive counsel on the subject under review. The inclination is towards the abolition of contracts since according to them, it is a disincentive to the good running of the law enforcement organization and we have no reason to disagree with them.
We have observed the efforts the Police Council is making to revitalize the Police. The subject under review would constitute an important test case for its ability to alter an obnoxious status quo which is inimical to efficiency.
When shall government appointees be allowed to do their work independently? We are aware about the manouvres through influential persons in society to perpetuate the scourge of contracts for retired or retiring persons. Some of the changes we so much desire include this worst practice.
Building a country involves many facets; the subject being treated not an exception. The phenomenon of lobbying to stay on the job when age 60 is beckoning should cease pronto!