Political Meddling Affecting Policing - Aning

A security analyst with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC), Dr Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, has bemoaned political interference in the work of the Ghana Police Service, saying it undermines the esprit de corps of the institution.

Dr Aning’s assertion follows clashes between supporters of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) as they embarked on separate health walks in Koforidua on Sunday, 20 November.

Contributing to the discussion on why health walks are degenerating into violence ahead of the December polls in the full glare of the police without any arrests being made, Dr Aning said the police are on top of their intelligence gathering and know what kind of behaviour can trigger violence but fail to take action due to political interference.

He said excessive political interference had undermined the police culture. “Police interference has seen other officers being transferred because they did what was right and there was nobody to protect them. The Police Council was not there to protect them or when they complained, the council did not take it up, so, over time, it’s built up a culture of ‘wait and see’, it’s built up a culture of ‘let me protect myself’,” he told Prince Minkah on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Monday, 21 November.

“The famous of these cases is when some minister was caught eating kenkey and fish and driving at top speed on the highway and the officers who accosted him were brought back to Accra under heavy police guard and were punished. Such types of political interference undermine the esprit de corps of any institution and I think over time, this is what we are seeing happening to the Ghana Police Service,” he added.

He said the police know what they need to do [to coil violence] but with uncertainty as to what the fallout will be against them, they remain hesitant.