The brawls between our security agencies must cease

On Wednesday, April 24, this year, a misunderstanding between some military personnel and prison officers in Bawku in the Upper East Region resulted in injury to three prison officers, one severely, and others after a soldier allegedly assaulted a prison officer at the forecourt of the palace of the Bawku Paramount Chief. 

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The Daily Graphic is worried about this development, especially because this is not the first time such a clash between personnel of different security institutions in the country has happened.

In March 2023, some heavily armed military personnel in the full glare of the public clashed with some police officers in the Central Business District of Accra after some military officers allegedly attacked a plain-clothes police officer on a motorcycle.

 The police officer is said to have reported the incident to his colleagues at the Accra Central Police Station from where some police officers on duty armed themselves and pursued the soldiers, arresting one of them in the process.

The soldiers are reported to have called for reinforcement in an attempt to rescue their colleague, but they were stiffly resisted by the police until some senior officers managed to quell the tension.

Yet again, in May 2018 there were bloody clashes between the police and military personnel in the Northern Region. This was condemned by the Police Service and the Armed Forces, while the Interior Ministry announced a probe, with Parliament, strongly speaking against the incident.

In a joint statement issued on May 17, 2018, following a meeting between their respective High Commands, the police and the military condemned the clash that took place in Tamale.

Among other measures, the two security institutions came up with resolutions to set up police and military memberships in all regions that host military bases for the purpose of overseeing the peaceful co-existence of both services. The resolution also pledged to deal with officers who would be found to have engaged in acts of indiscipline by failing to obey their chains of command, among others.

The Daily Graphic wonders what happened to the beautiful resolutions that were adopted and what measures were put in place to avoid a recurrence of these acts, which are disgraceful to the country and dent its image internationally.

It is high time measures were put in place to ensure that there is synergy among our security institutions, especially between the military and other security outfits. We note that the various security agencies have representatives on the national, regional and metropolitan, municipal and district security councils.

 We thus call on the security agencies to take advantage of such platforms to build strong collaboration and coordination that will have a ripple effect on their relationship with one another.

Indeed, the causes of these altercations are not difficult to fathom. The penchant to show power to one another, demonstration of a certain kind of bravado, and the sheer belief that they are above the law and are untouchable embolden some of our security personnel to exhibit such indiscipline.

This paper is of the view that there must be constant training and retraining of our men and women in uniform in conflict management and social interaction, as well as conscientise them on their roles as prescribed under the laws of the land.

The military must know that internal security is the responsibility of the police and at no point in time should they meddle in that space unless mandated by their High Command.

Many of these conflicts have arisen when the military involve themselves in matters that are exclusively for the police. We must not as a country ever allow the laws of the jungle to fester because in an animal kingdom an ant can never jump over an elephant. Our security apparatus must begin to purge themselves of such embarrassing conduct because their Motherland deserves better than that.

The Ghana Prisons Service has pledged its commitment to address the root cause of the conflict of the recent clash and improve the relationship between its personnel and the military.

Similar pledges have been made in the past but they have not changed the trajectory. This time around, the public expects an end to these needless skirmishes between and among our security agencies. They do not bode well for their image and that of the country.

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