Monday, December 1, 2008


WITH just six days to the general elections, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, has cautioned political parties against preparing the minds of their supporters against the police because of perceived bias.
"I don't understand why some politicians keep accusing us of bias when the elections have not even been held", the police chief said.
Speaking at the inauguration of a GH¢1.16 million district/divisional police headquarters at Old Tafo-Pankrono in Kumasi last Saturday, the IGP said it was only the defeatists who would attempt to hang the police for no offence committed.
"It is only people who have lost focus in their campaigns and perhaps are heading for defeat who would accuse us of non-neutrality", the IGP stressed.
Emphasising the neutrality of the police since the 1992 elections, Mr Acheampong indicated that this image would be fiercely guarded, come December 7.
Funded from the HIPC Fund, the ultra-modern police station project, whose construction took just six months, was facilitated by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo-Pankrono and Minister of State at the Finance and Economic Planning Ministry, Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei.
An attached 72-flat residential accommodation for the police is progressing steadily.
The IGP emphasised that with the system put in place it would be very difficult for the police to help any political party in the elections.
He urged the political parties to be vigilant at the polling stations and help the police to arrest anyone who may attempt to cause trouble.
Mr Acheampong maintained that the security services would be firm on the ground, gave the assurance that "the country will not burn".
He, therefore, asked the electorate not to allow anyone to frighten and cow them into submission with threats.
"You should go out there and vote in your numbers because you are safe", he said.
Mr Acheampong commended the government for the continuous support for the police. The IGP stated: "We were starved in the past" but under this government we have seen tremendous changes, which have enabled us to improve our performance." He was particularly appreciative of efforts of the Finance Ministry to get things moving for the police. In a speech, Dr Akoto-Osei said it was his firm commitment to support the police in their efforts to provide the needed security and protection for the people and property in the constituency and its environs.
He pointed out that the NPP government would continue to put in place measures to fight crime and ensure the safety of the people at all times so that law-abiding citizens could go about their daily activities without any fear.
The minister indicated that he was moved by the dastardly murder of the former Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Samuel Ennin, at the Pankrono Estate Road about a year-and-a-half ago.
"It was then that I started to get the IGP to ensure that security in the constituency is given priority attention by the police and the first step was to get police officers to be stationed at Adabraka in the constituency and provide the needed support for the people", he said.
Dr Akoto Osei who personally presented two brand new motorbikes to the police station, noted the importance of modern policing in an urban area, and said that was why the government was paying particular attention to that area.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwaku Ayesu Opare-Addo, insisted that the police would consider anyone who would carry away a ballot box from the polling station without authority, as an armed robber.