Killing The Esprit de Corps

Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh

The man who was appointed Deputy Inspector General Of Police (DIG) a few days shy of his retirement date is now the beneficiary of the contract phenomenon in the Ghana Police Service.

It is a replication of what has become a norm in the law enforcement agency; its telling effect on the rather crucial esprit de corps a matter of concern to cherishers of a healthy Police Service devoid of such encumbrances.

Those who expressed concern at the seeming anomaly of the appointment of Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh when he should have rather been notified of his pending retirement and feared he was on the verge of being offered a golden handshake of a contract, have been vindicated. The one year contract is however short of the standard two years which his predecessors enjoyed. Perhaps his should be the last time such a contract is being extended to a retiring superior officer.

‘We told you so’ should be the reaction of those who had this premonition of a replication of the contract anomaly when they heard about the appointment of a Deputy Inspector General of Police in the person of the Mr. Oppong-Buanuh. The sudden reactivation of a rank which had long been confined to the shelves of the Quartermaster’s store pricked the minds of persons who have followed developments in the Police Service.

Elsewhere in this edition, the subject is treated and chronologically so by a retired Superintendent of Police – a thorn in the system until his questionable retirement. He points at shortcomings of the law upon which the law enforcement agency hinges vis a vis the need for the Police Council to take another look at the statutes.

The Police Council and the relevant ministry including, obviously Parliament, should brood over this subject so that a better way of managing the appointment of an IGP with innovations, elimination of the contract phenomenon among others.

A demoralized Police Service is an under-performing law enforcement agency and this is what we should not entertain in an age of sophisticated crime.

Today’s cop is unlike his Gold Coast Constabulary counterpart: he is a social media cop, enlightened and curious and educated. There are many cops who hold first and advanced degrees but yet to catch the eye of those responsible for elevations. They are observant and abreast with all the anomalies in the Service. The relevant authorities underrate them at their peril. Squad mates form their own Whatsapp platforms for the discussion of matters about the Police and of course a lot of gossip.

Therein lies the cause of lowered morale in the Service. Just when they saw light at the end of the tunnel with the change in the hands at the helm of affairs of the nation, the illuminant appears to be dimming; the replication of the old order of contracts constituting a major factor.

It is our hope and expectation that the one year contract which we have just witnessed would be the last time the anomaly would be applied.

How to convince the gloomy faced cops to cheer up and respond to a ‘hurray’ to a ‘hip hip hip’ depends on whether really the contract phenomenon ends with the recent one. ‘P’rade Shun,’  ‘Tanda Eiz’!