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There possibly can never be any other time deemed as most appropriate to condemn the crude, appalling and unacceptable ways in which the Police force sometimes engage in crowd control.
Protest as a means to register displeasure and or demand answers on critical concerns from government is a constitutional guarantee for the people.
Because of the perception that protest makes a government unpopular, it is rare for a government to welcome a protest directly or indirectly targeted at it and would go every length using the Police to stop or stifle it, often times leaving protesters brutalized.
Discussing this, one particular name which became synonymous with stifling protests and brutalizing those involved as a way of wanting to please some masters is DCOP Douglas Akrofi – Asiedu.
Comrade Kwesi Pratt will always recall how in 2007, DCOP Douglas Akrofi-Asiedu as a Police Commander appeared at a protest venue in Accra ostensibly with a plot to harm him [Pratt] and Hon John Mahama. The two got wind of the Government led evil plot and avoided the march. DCOP Douglas Akrofi-Asiedu ever since became known as “party police” aka “charge.”
As we expected time to help us get over such barbaric acts, we have rather come full circle with the emergence of another “party police” in the person of Superintendent Kwesi Ofori.
Under his command as Greater Accra Director of Operations in less than 2 years, I could on top of my head recall not less than 5 questionable instances of Police brutalities and senselessness.
Some of the instances are;
- He stifled a legitimate Togo Solidarity Campaign protest; brutalized and locked up leading members of the campaign – Bernard Mornah, Irbard Ibrahim etc at the Nima Police station.
- Twice brutalized unemployed nurses who picketed at MoH premises in demand of employment.
- Attack on innocent Ghanaians including Joy fm’s Latif Iddrisu and some party activists during a protest when comrade Koku Anyidoho was invited to the Police headquarters.
- Brutalities visited on Adenta residents over the demand to have abandoned foot bridges fixed.
I am told Superintendent Kwesi Fori’s “master pleaser agenda” began just after Nana Akufo Addo was declared President elect by the EC. As a Commander of Adabraka District Police, he abandoned his duty post, taking along some officers to mount a security post at the Nima residence of the Prez elect. Is it true? Is that a standard practice? If indeed the case, not a very cheap action by a senior officer?
I have credible information that COP Mrs Beatrice Vib-Sanziri is one of the few discipline and strict senior Police officers who won’t entertain cheap and useless orders. Rather intriguing, men who are naturally born with balls can’t reject cheap orders as women who have none are rejecting them.
Commendation to COP Vib-Sanziri and her likes but will recommend castration for the cowards, whose joy is in acting on cheap orders and brutalizing protesters because their balls are of no use.
This “Zombie business” of the Police always attaching itself not to the State but to the aprons of government and continually being unleashed onto people is not helping the image of the service.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
The Police force must strive to be professional just as every individual officer must renew his/hers mind-set to be of State interest. There is a question that never gets answered. Why don’t governments avoid protests by working hard enough to meet the needs and aspirations of the people? Why?
Tears welled up in my eyes reading about the traumatic experience of a woman and her 14 year old son who were shot at by the Police during the Adenta residents protest over abandoned footbridges.
“We were aimed at and shot at yesterday. It was not a stray bullet. That is the point I would like to make,” Ms Sam maintained in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
“The bullet came through my side of the door, grazed my thigh and lodged in my son’s thigh,” Ms Sam narrated, adding that she was equally traumatized but had to stay strong for her son.
Can you imagine this?
Things are degenerating to the extent that Police today, instead of assisting Immigration officers to arrest some foreign nationals involved in cyber-crime rather freed the suspects, threatening to attack the Immigration officers who arrested the suspects. This was on Citi Tv’s news bulletin on Wednesday.
Curiously, the Police leadership including the Council chaired by the Vice President, Dr Bawumia and other relevant State bodies don’t find this matter and the “party police posturing” as worrying enough to warrant an investigation and to punish offenders in an effort to preserve the image of the Service.
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” – Aristotle
Writer: Koku Mawuli Nanegbe