By Nana Kow Blankson
We always have the tendency of withholding our praises and commendations for people who excel in their areas of scope until something happens and they leave the scene. That is when we all jump and shower needless praises which brings nothing to cheer about.
To me if somebody comes on board in any major capacity be it political or personal and roll out some policies that bring positive changes that affects the lives of many Ghanaians, we need to take notice and pat the backs of such individuals in order to ginger them to soldier on to greater heights.
On February 5, 2013, Ghanaians woke up to the news that the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, has been asked to proceed on a 90-day terminal leave pending to his retirement. In his place, his deputy, Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan was asked to act.
Mr Alhassan whom many Ghanaians have never heard of assumed the reigns of the Ghana Police Service in an acting capacity on February 5, 2013 until his confirmation as the substantive IGP on June 14, 2013.
No one can close his or her eyes to the kind of policing we are seeing in the country today under the leadership of IGP Alhassan. For the very first time in our history as a country, we have the policemen and women everywhere. You see and feel their presence at every block leading to accidents and other road infractions being taken care of very promptly.
Most Ghanaians cannot run away from the fact that they now feel much more secure as citizens of Ghana. Policing has been taken to a new and higher level with police vehicles manned by the police service personnel at key vantage points all over the country.
Police service personnel no longer deliver arm chair services as we see them standing in the heat rendering various services to motorists.
Today if two or more vehicles are involved in an accident, the drivers do not have to wait too long as police personnel come to the scene in less than 30 minutes to sort things out. This is very remarkable indeed!
Areas where traffic gets chocked everyday especially in Accra and its environs have seen remarkable improvements as we see policemen and women on the beat by 7 am. Even if motorists will not give outward praise to the remarkable injection of discipline in the police service, they are witnesses to this new line of policing in Ghana.
If you happen to visit the Police Headquarters, no one will tell you that the police administration is doing things very differently these days with all visitors including their vehicles scanned. Even the compound of the Police Headquarters looks much neater than before.
My only beef is still the one-one cedi that some of the service personnel chisel from motorists who infringe traffic regulations. With the number of police personnel on the beat more than in the past, this one-one cedi chiselling is becoming more and more.
If the IGP is able to do something beyond the imagination of Ghanaians to minimise this one-one cedi business which continues to tarnish the image of the Ghana Police Service, Mr Alhassan will go down in history as one of the most innovative IGPs ever to rise to the top of the Ghana Police Service.
There is another hot button issue that the IGP has to solve as a matter of urgency. If he is able to do that, the IGP will receive a lot of thumps up from Ghanaians. Like it or not Kasoa remains the fastest growing town in Ghana today. With a population which is getting close to 2 million residents, the area is always chocked with traffic.
But what is making the situation worse is the siting of the Kasoa Police Station very close to the roadside and also close to the only major traffic light on the Kasoa/Winneba Road.
To compound the problem to chaotic heights is the policemen and women who stunt the flow of traffic daily by lining at the road in front of the Kasoa Police Station with the assumption of checking the documents of drivers but end up creating huge traffic chocks while feeding on the their one-one cedi from motorists.
If the IGP want to clear this mess at Kasoa, the onerous duty that will leave lasting imprints on the minds of Ghanaians and motorists who ply the Kasoa/Winneba road is to remove the Kasoa Police Station from its present location. The police station as a matter of urgency has to be relocated to another location not on the major stretch of the road in order to reduce the heavy traffic from the area.
Additionally, the IGP must ensure that the police personnel at the Kasoa do not create unnecessary traffic on the Kasoa/Winneba road just in the name of checking the proper documents of vehicles. These are issues that tend to give the police a permanent bad name and a dent on anything good they are doing. Motorists plying the Kasoa/Winneba road are crying for help, therefore, the IGP must act and act quickly.
IGP Alhassan seems to have hit the right cord even before his confirmation, therefore, as we give him a pat on the back he and his team must work tirelessly not only to weed out the bad nuts in his administration, but also be innovative in other areas to make policing very friendly and something the public will keep talking over every time.