On Monday, the leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party met with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), George Akuffo-Dampare, to discuss recent political developments.
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The meeting, which the Inspector-General of Police requested, was necessary as a result of press releases from both sides and petitions to the Police Service from each side requesting the arrest of specific members of the other side for various alleged offenses.
In response to Bryan Acheampong’s assertion that the NPP will never cede power to the NDC, the NDC requested that the Police Service place him under arrest.
Following the NDC petition, the NPP created a similar petition requesting that former president John Mahama be detained by the police for some offensive remarks he had made in the past.
The political parties were advised to “do their politics and allow the Police to do policing” at the meeting on Monday after being informed of various policing initiatives in place. Therefore, we urged them to help us, including by offering constructive criticism, so that we could carry out our constitutionally mandated duties in a professional manner.
The complete Police statement is provided below.
- The Police met with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) leadership this afternoon at the National Police Headquarters in Accra.
- The meeting, which the Inspector-General of Police called, was necessary as a result of press statements made by the parties and petitions to the Police Service from each side asking the police to detain specific members of the other side for various alleged crimes.
- Both parties had the chance to voice their complaints during the meeting. Their main concern centered on remarks made by some political figures on both sides of the aisle that were deemed to be offensive.
- As part of the police reform plan, the police also gave them a briefing on two strategic interventions that had been implemented by the police administration to handle the election and situations involving politics.
- The Police took the chance to give a status report on political violence and related occurrences that were seen during the most recent internal elections in both parties, including;
- The detention and prosecution of about 14 NPP members for disrupting their constituency election in Enchi, as well as the detention of nine out of sixteen people sought for disrupting the NDC’s national youth and women organizer polls in Cape Coast.
- The public will be properly updated on the status of the cases pertaining to the 2020 General Election, including Techiman South and Odododiodio seats, throughout the course of the week.
- The creation of the Police Election Security Secretariat to collaborate with all political parties and other stakeholders to improve the management of security for all national elections was the first strategic intervention that was disclosed to them.
- This is an entirely different procedure from the previous one, in which an election security task force was assembled only a few months before the general elections.
- The Police Election Security Secretariat has collaborated with the various political parties in their internal elections since its formation more than a year ago, from the polling place through the constituency to the national executive elections.
- The Secretariat is now coordinating the parliamentary and presidential primaries for both parties.
- Before any police action is taken, a specialized legal team will be established to investigate all instances that are politically related legally in order to determine whether or not they contain elements of criminality. Therefore, the Police won’t become involved in any circumstance where there isn’t any crime going on.
- This is a paradigm shift from the practice of the past, when people were detained for politically motivated offenses in the heat of the moment as a result of politicians on both sides trying to inflame public opinion against the police and give the impression that the police are biased in favor of one side or the other. When there are no viable charges that can be brought against such individuals, they are finally freed, giving the public the appearance that the police were coerced into making the arrests.
- All recent incidents, including remarks made by the Hon. Minister of Food and Agriculture and the Constituency Youth Organiser for the NDC in Suame, among others, have been examined using this approach.
- Both parties were exhorted at the meeting to conduct their political activities while leaving policing to the police in light of these policing actions. Therefore, we urged them to help us, including by offering constructive criticism, so that we could carry out our constitutionally mandated duties in a professional manner.
- We would like to appeal to Ghanaians for support as we work to establish an independent police force that will serve the interests of the Ghanaian people as a whole rather than those of any one person or group of people. We commend the leadership of the two political parties for making themselves available and helping the meeting succeed.
- We want to reassure the public once more that we are dedicated to maintaining the nation’s peace, security, law, and order at all times, including before, during, and after every election.