Let Us Rethink Alms To The Police

The representative of the Police Service accepting the donation from the Chinese Association

The headline for this commentary is intended to convey the negative impression the so-called donations to the Ghana Police Service is exacting on the country’s foremost internal security agency and by extension, our country.

It is more disturbing when such alms as it were emanate from suspicious foreign business concerns in the country, their links to the galamsey underworld known to many.

As an institution bearing the coat of arms of the Republic, any gesture or action which subtracts from the institutional self-esteem or image of the law enforcement agency must be avoided by all means.

Many Ghanaians yesterday questioned the propriety of the Ghana Police Service accepting a donation of a paltry GH¢50,000 from an association of Chinese in the country. We could not concur anymore with those posing the queries.

It is not an auspicious time to receive money from a company whose equipment is suspected to be largely used in the galamsey business. We are virtually at war as a country with illegal mining activities, the fallouts from which are household knowledge and needs no elaboration.

The donation could not have been made without a motive; therein lies the worry and suspicion. Why would the Chinese sympathise with the plight of the Ghana Police Service and so want to support them with money? They could have gone to one of the many orphanages in the country. It is the police because by so doing they can count on the law enforcement agency to give them the necessary cover in case of trouble. Period.

We are currently facing a national crisis represented by the galamsey menace, the extent of which is now beginning to dawn on us as a people.

Until the disclosure by former Minister Inusah Fuseni and MP, we did not know how much the Chinese envoy in the country had gotten the former President John Mahama to indirectly support the galamsy craze. If the minister had been ordered not to pursue his anti-galamsey measures, we can indisputably say that a carte blanche of sorts had been given the Chinese galamsey operatives to carry on with their trade.

That there was such a diplomatic touch to the environmental degradation is what underscores the seriousness of the subject. It is something which goes beyond the youth using crude implements to hunt for the precious metals in river beds. It is about the Chinese whose big bosses occasionally show love to the police through wads of cedis.

If the budget of the police is so low that it cannot perform its statutory duties and must depend on such donations, government must rethink the annual allocation of funds to this critical organ of national security.

It is shameful and despicable that such nasty scenes of a begging Police Service, plates in hands and at the receiving end make the pages of newspapers and prime times of electronic media. It does not speak well of the police.

We would not be surprised if land guards and other unwanted groups find a way of making donations to our willing Police Service in the not-too-distant future.