Who watches the Watchman? – By Fo Fovi
The police as defined in the Longman dictionary of contemporary English Language states that, it is an official organization whose job is to make sure that citizens obey the law, to catch criminals, and to protect people and property: they are supposed to ensure that people will follow the correct rules with regards to what they do.
The police are to ensure continuous education of the general public, particularly the rural folks of their basic human rights and the various forms of remedies available in the event of any abuse.
This will not only educate the people on their rights, but also a pre-requisite for respecting the right of others, as well as liaising with authorities to take necessary actions to ensure that the various human right clauses that are enshrined in the laws of the land are upheld and appropriately enforced.
Because of their unique identity which comes as a result of their uniform they wear and the training they are equipped with, backed by the fact that the state and the government of the day also throws its weight behind them, they command respect wherever they go thus setting them apart from the crowd and it is that same thing that tells you that they were meant to do great things among which are some of the duties I outlined above.
But lately, the Police service seems to be full of some bad nuts that are bent on bringing disrepute to the name of the service. What you see these days is enough to send shudders down your whole being. The police seem to be the master of all vices in town, championing all the robberies and vandalism. They are either allies or the act is usually traced to them. You even tend to wonder how this culprits come by the weapons they wield in their operations, and who their informants are.
I also observed that the Police have practically teamed up with some drivers especially the commercial ones to deliberately kill passengers just to satisfy their selfish ends. Road blocks are mounted on our roads so as to deal with unqualified drivers and to remove cars that are unworthy of the roads but all you see is contrary to what it’s supposed to be, forgetting that, it is detrimental to the very lives of very people they have been mandated to protect.
It has become evident that the road blocks that are mounted on our roads for routine checks are only a ploy to impress seriousness on the part of the Police to the tax payer and cause traffic jams in some parts of town. All the Police do is to summon the drivers of the said vehicles to the back of the car and take a paltry and disgraceful sum of one Ghana cedi. It is even appalling when some of them think we already know what they are about and take the money in the full glare of the public. All i do is bite my lips and curse the fact that I don’t have authority to dismiss such unscrupulous entities in the Service.
They check nothing on the car, not the driver’s license, his registration, road worthiness and anything that is worth checking and I wonder if these people have conscience at all. It is true that a drop of water makes a mighty ocean but one Ghana cedis is not worth the lives of the passengers aboard those vehicles.
It is even worse when you muster courage to comment on the ensuing felony as a concerned citizen and you are not allowed to say anything because fellow passengers aboard the car are quick to label you ‘too-knowing’ or at other times, they tell you, they are in a hurry; to their deaths probably. You don’t even know the appropriate quarters to report these crooks parading as Police Officers to, because they are the same and if you don’t tread cautiously, you might end up being victimized.
I believe the powers that be, are aware of these and more other anomalies clouting the good works they have set out to do and my question is what are they doing about it to quell the situation, because it has become a way of life and nobody seems to care, which makes you want to ask what kind of legacy they are leaving for their successors and other law enforcement agencies.
If the people who have been mandated to protect us turn around to abuse us under the cover of darkness and ignorance and even in broad daylight, where are we headed to? Are we safe or we should start wielding weapons around in a bid to protect ourselves? Something have to give, otherwise our country is bound to be plunged into a state of anarchy where each of us will be on his own and only the fit will be allowed to survive.
The Police Service have been in the news for all the negative things in town, their involvement in the MV-Benjamin where 77 parcels of Cocaine have vanished under mysterious circumstances and in other news, a Cocaine in their custody has turned into a Kokonte powder and no one have been apprehended. Citizens die under mysterious circumstances and the investigative machinery of the Police service always appears like a cul-de-Sac.
The public is a witness to the pay rise in the salaries of the Police and any prudent person should think that it’s enough motivation to get them on top of their jobs but the situation seems deteriorated than before. Some wear their uniforms unwashed for like a year and the overpowering smell these dresses emit is enough to make you pay your dues and move on.
It is even pathetic if you are caught up in a situation and you call on the Police. They will ask you to either arrest and bring the culprit to the Police Station yourself of hire a Taxi for them to pursue your case for you not to talk about the monies they will take from you just to do what they are actually paid to do which has influenced the rise in mob justice because the poor people do not have time to be hiring taxis for the Officers and cannot leave their already pathetic jobs to be pursuing a case that is going nowhere.
The Police have been empowered with some basic resources to at least Mann situations and unrests in the country but they are comfortable visiting their girlfriends and attending funeral with all the vehicles they have been allotted and it leaves much to be desired. The Police have no sure way of gathering intelligence because dignitaries are always attacked before they appear at the crime scene, a typical case of a Presidential aspirant being repeatedly attacked and that is an indictment on the Police Service.
It is even worrying to think about how the Police Service will handle the various spates of fighting that will characterize our 2012 General Election between the various supporters of the Political parties because they are inevitable. Even though we would be better off preventing them before they actually break off, we would like them to be prompt to the fight scenes and deplore the best ways to curb all these mongering of wars going on so that come this Christmas, not a single life would have been lost in the Election exercise. I don’t know if there’s an upgrade in their exchange system but the last time I tried calling their emergency hotline 911, there was no show and these little things do not augur well for the ordinary man out there who constantly needs to keep in touch with the Police to ensure his safety.
To this end, I entreat the Powers that be to strategize measures to smoke out these bad nuts out of the system and thorough investigations conducted on them even before they are recruited. Reformation strategies should be put in place to sanitize the service so that the public can repose confidence in them for the collective good of the nation and the resources we deploy to keep the service going.