Uprooting party vigilantism: Let political parties wash hands off police recruitment – Kankam Boadu
A founding member of the ruling New Patriotic Party, David Kankam Boadu has lauded President Akufo-Addo’s efforts at disbanding party vigilantism and the phenomenon of militias across the country, particularly within the political space.
But he says while the president is at it, all other actors and stakeholders must put in their bit to help uproot the canker that forbodes nothing but evil for a peaceful nation as Ghana.
He said the police in particular, must uphold their integrity and conduct their work professionally to regain the confidence of the general public, and political parties while in power, must stop teleguiding the enlistment of party people into the police service.
Justifying his charge to the police to be more professional, Kankam Boadu told Graphic Online that the foundations of party vigilantism in Ghana is traceable to the Rawlings era where militias were created to do the work of the regular police, which consequently led to the loss of trust in the regular police by the political parties who felt the need to “as it were, take their election destiny into their hands”.
By the same token, he said both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress have been guilty of packing the police service with party men during enlistment, which by all calculations, amount to perpetuating the same vigilantism that the nation now so abhor.
He said in spite of the annual recruitment exercises, the police ratio to the rest of society remain very low and instead of organizing private individuals to provide security, the nation should agree to buffer the size of the police force.
“If a policeman is a policeman because a political power put him there, won’t he be more responsive to that authority than to anyone else? If the policeman must look over his shoulders before taking decisions, where is his professionalism? If I had my way I would say let’s weed out political appointees from the police service and allow them to act professionally. That is how we shall succeed”, he said, adding that there are police personnel who go to work wearing political party T-shirts under their uniforms.
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According to the ex-chairman aspirant of the NPP, Ghana is paying the price for making political entities out of the security institutions that are otherwise sufficient enough to protect us. “Why can’t the police, military, Bureau of National Investigations, Prisons, Immigration Service, Fire Service and CID all protect us?
“I will urge the President, IGP, CDS, Minister for Defence, Interior Minister and all stakeholders in charge of our security to start employing Ghanaians and stop the political enlistment. All the individual institutions should start seminars to conscientize their forces to love Mother Ghana instead of political parties. They must stay neutral and support all that the President is doing to stop vigilantism. If the men in uniform insist on flirting with politics, I can assure them that they will lose all the trust and respect society has for them.”
Kankam Boadu insisted that the police when left alone, can do their job professionally, pointing out that their recent successful management of security for the presidential primary of the National Democratic Congress, even when the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah had once declared publicly that the party does not trust in the police, was a clear proof for anyone doubting the competences of the police service.