IGP, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare
These last few weeks have been somewhat challenging for the Ghana Police Service, the foremost internal security formation.
Considering the formation’s frontline place in the overall national security management of the country, it should be spared all manner of emotional roller coasters as being played out in the public space.
We are not oblivious of the massive support that the Service earned from the public when the current IGP, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare assumed the reins of leadership of the law enforcement department.
Enter the Bugri Naabu episode and things took a worrying nosedive in a manner which has left us wondering what the heck is happening.
It is like a jinx has bedeviled the Police. All of a sudden, it would appear as if bad politicians are no longer the talk of the public but the Police whose leadership of course is a political appointment.
Since the Bugri Naabu episode made landfall and eventually came under the microscope of Parliament and public opinion, sometimes influenced by ill-information about how the law enforcement department works, the image of the law enforcement arm of government has never endured such an image mess.
The Bugrigate, if it is not managed with the cause of national security in mind, will not inure to our overall interest.
For starters, Chief Bugri Naabu, the former Northern Regional Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) was heard on tape with some Police officers; COP George Alex Mensah and two others plotting how to oust the police chief.
It is their case that going into 2024 elections with Dr. Dampare as the IGP will be detrimental to the ruling party and government, since he will not aid them in manipulating the electoral process. Though these officers have admitted the content of the tape, their claim is that portions of the tape have been edited to suit whatever the intentions of the editors of the tape are.
As issues unfold, there is a claim of the emergence of another tape, perhaps the last one on this matter. While at it, it is important for us all as a nation to be mindful of how the issues concerning the Police Service is being discussed in the public space.
We are particularly worried how the committee that was set up to discuss the content of the leaked tape is now veering into other areas of the Police Service and how it operates.
A few questions beg to be asked; what was the committee set up by Parliament to do? Are we ready to go the full course in the public space with the invitation of the IGP? Will the Police Service enjoy the massive public support as was the case prior to this “Bugrigate”? Is the parliamentary committee an avenue for peeping into the operations of the Ghana Police Service?
We hope and pray that the invitation of the police chief by the committee will not be used as an avenue to try the whole Police Service in the public space at the expense of the substantive matter of plotting to oust the IGP.
There are details in police operations which though somewhat bizarre in form, they constitute critical aspects of law enforcement intelligence gathering.
The maintenance of a string of informants cannot be accomplished without funding.
Many a crime conundrum have been resolved using such network of informants. Unfortunately, the lack of knowledge into the complex task of policing make us startle when such tidbits emerge as we are witnessing in the public space courtesy the Bugrigate. Let us be careful lest we destroy the informant network and other critical segments of policing which should be by and large kept outside the public domain.