By Ansu Kofi Richard, syi-B/A
As part of measures to secure the readiness of Ghana Police Service in the upcoming general elections in November 2016, the Inspector General Of Police (IGP), Mr.John Kudalor, has paid a working visit to the Brong Ahafo Reginal Police command.
He was accompanied in his entourage by the Commissioner of Police, Director General of Operations, Mr. Christian Teteh Yohuno, Director General Services, Director of Police, James Oppong Boanuh, and others to the region.
The activities within the working visit of the (IGP), included the inspection of guards, meeting with regional police command, Demonstration of riot management, inspection of public order equipment, inspection of communication equipment, visit to the regional Minister and courtesy call to the Paramount chief of Sunyani traditional area.
The IGP disclosed in his address that the mandate of the Ghana police service, is purely prevention which is more expensive, because more resources are needed to be applied.
The IGP, made the police aware that because this year’s election is keenly contested than any other election held in Ghana, it takes multiple actors to ensure peace, but the back stops on the police administration to ensure the overall success in attaining peace.
The IGP, revealed that police administration was expected to train the personnel in policing elections to acquaint officers the methodology of elections.
For example, he implored the officers to be able to distinguish between the electoral offenses and criminal act during voting.
According to him, officers are supposed to work with the Presiding officers at the various polling stations in the management of peace and order at the centers.
Moreover, the Inspector General of Police, advised the police to avoid steps to detain miscreants in electoral offense, but criminal activities, including holding weapons near polling stations are urgent police and citizen’s arrest matter.
He deplored that Policing is not a job, but rather a call and when one comes in, he or she should be able to give out all their best.
Mr.Kudalor, further appealed to regional commands to replicate the dialogue series which has began at the headquarters to the regions by forming task forces and meet all the political parties and the estimation leaders for discussion to bring an end to recurrent disturbances.
He admonished the police to organize welfare meetings for personnel to discuss proactive related issues in ensuring peaceful elections. He called on the regional police commands to engage the media in their activities by organizing special sections and support the media to carryout peaceful message.
About 60 Chief Inspectors and 310 Sergeant and Constables, were present to welcome the Inspector General of Police.
Mr.Kudalor, gave the Brong Ahafo Regional command over 67 percent, making it B+ in their performance to indicate the readiness the command ahead of the November polls.
Meanwhile, in his address the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander, outlined the measures the police have put in place to reduce the highway robberies, including the provision of the police escort to Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), GH-Express and market women.
DCOP Maxwell Atingane, noted that the regional police command, has sought and granted the order from court to use 23 confiscated motorbikes and Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is assisting to register them and after registration, would be used out by the various Districts for patrol.
He reminded the IGP, that the regional election security task force, was formed on January 22, 2016 and has been replicated in the divisions and districts.
The tasks force according to the deputy commissioner of police, has recommended to the political party executives at the various meetings to ensure electioneering campaign is devoid of insults and acrimony.
He was optimistic that when all these measures are implemented the region will therefore be able to consolidate peace before, during and after the elections.
On march 31st 2016, the regional elections security task force met at the office of the regional police commander to brief the authority on the preparations made towards the general elections of which the ongoing limited registration exercise were also discussed.
As part of the aforementioned preparations, the police have trained a total number of 198 personnel in crowed control which is in six groups of 33 personnel each and are ready for deployment.
In terms of developmental projects, Mr.Atingane illustrates the regional police command has undertaken some renovations at the regional police headquarters, including a giant signboard redesigned as a police signboard at the quarters.
He referred that the forecourt and the back of the headquarters which was full potholes has been tarred with the assistance from the regional minister.
According to him, it is not only Sunyani where development is taking place, but Sunyani West District Assembly is constructing police station at Odomase in the Sunyani division which is about 85 percent complete, after completion, will have a station and a district headquarters.
Wenchi District headquarters is almost complete, while Banda District assembly, has constructed a District headquarters and the police station at Banda Ahenkro, which is yet to be commissioned, the chief of Nwiase with the support of Member of Parliament (MP) for Wenchi, is constructing a police station at Nwiase, which is about 90 percent complete.
The Tain District assembly, is responsible for Badu Police station, the Techiman divisional headquarters is under construction by the techiman division, Nsuta police station has been constructed by Techiman municipal assembly, which is yet to be hand over to the police, and many other projects in the region.
He enumerated few constrains bedeviling the region, including lack of enough arms and ammunitions for the service, the commander also reiterated that because the region is the second largest interns of size, he appealed to the inspector General of Police to increase their fleet.