The Art of Police “Deception” – A Guide to Motorists Survival in Ghana – By Qouphy Appiah Obirikorang

police-bribeThe Ghana Police force no doubt is amongst the most friendly forces in Africa for their tolerance, taking time to explain issues to citizens and also their prompt obedience to time . GH Police are very caring; when they meet you on the road, they either share the food you’re eating with you or simply ask for a few “shekels” to aid them buy mosquito repellants to continue their illustrious duty at night .

The Motor Traffic and Transport Unit of the Ghana Police is a “specialized” force that oversees the day to day motor and traffic issues across the nation. They are ever present on roads, highways, sharp corners and even cul-de-sacs. You can identify them with their white long-sleeved Police Uniform, and sometimes notepad with court appearance forms. The MTTU Police are by far the dreaded force when it comes to motorists be it a commercial vehicle or a private one. Selection into the MTTU force is by high merit and applicants must possess any of the following unique criteria:

  1. Have a 6/6 vision with zoom lens of more than 100 yards to be able to spot expired roadworthy certificates and insurance covers
  2. Have a counterfeit detector installed in the medulla oblongata to detect fake drivers license
  3. Ability to visually read the expiry date on fire extinguishers even if it’s not visible on the container
  4. Fingers that can detect tyre pressures and thread depth due to wear and tear
  5. Detect engine problem without even opening the bonnet by just listening to the engine sound
  6. Detect fake jacks and wheel spanners
  7. Ability to calculate vehicle speed without using a calibrated radar gun
  8. Persuasion skills – ability to reject one and five cedi notes in case a motorist falls short of the law
  9. Photographic memory – ability to capture vehicle registration number from a single look for future references.
  10. Team work – ability to work seamlessly with the annoying NYEP or kuffour police

The commercial vehicle drivers are noted for their swift cooperation with the MTTU Police hence they are always affected in a little way from their operations. The private car owners are the annoying, book-long and too-known type and always in the crosshair of the MTTU taskforce.

Undoubtedly, the MTTU force can strike fear in anyone when you don’t have the correct papers. Due to societal pressures and demands from work, you sometimes forget the date any of your car covers will expire and you will only notice it in the heat of rush hour traffic.

Truth be told, if you detect any of your car papers have expired, you’re uneasy when driving; every policeman you see seems to be looking at your direction, you pray the traffic light doesn’t flash red  with you in front of the line. You become a ducking expert, always switching lanes and keeping the inner lane, always looking right, left, back, forward simultaneously.

If you detect that any of your papers have expired, the following techniques will help:

  1. Keep Calm – don’t fidget or fret, fidgeting will always give you away. The best trick is to play your favorite music and dance, sing or whistle along. The police will not stop a man who is merry on his way to work.
  2. If you’re a female driver, always keep a spare pillow under your car seat; when the going gets tough, quickly slip the pillow under your dress and fake pregnancy labor. Yank your horn and activate your hazard lights; curse your “husband” for taking that expatriate job and leaving you alone in Ghana. No sane police man will ever stop a woman in labor.
  3. Have a mobile phone earpiece in handy; if you’re stopped, pretend you were making and call and tell the other “party” to hold on with the following words “honorable, I am on my way to parliament and I have been stopped by a police officer, please hold on let me listen to this enthusiastic  police officer”
  4. When stopped by the police speak big grammar and quote any part of the constitution even if it doesn’t exist. Police dreads big English speakers.
  5. When you’re stopped by the MTTU police; don’t drive away because it annoys them; stop the car and fire the first question “good day officer, how may I help you? Which units are you stationed? Do you know Inspector Tetteh? These questions will set panic amongst the MTTU force
  6. When approaching a police checkpoint, its imperative you roll you glass UP, even if you don’t have an air conditioner installed. Every “big man” has an AC installed. Don’t break a sweat.
  7. When approaching the checkpoint; look straight with both hands on the steering wheel and with a serious look on your face, don’t smile, do a mini salute with two fingers and pass.
  8. If you have any short, dark complexioned, bald family member, always make him sit at the back seat; when you are stopped and signaled by the police to step down; he should remain seated and when you’re haggling with the officer, he opens the car door and approach you guys and asks “what is going on here”?? You reply “Daasebre, on our way to the palace, these police stopped us”
  9. If you’re busted on the highway for over-speeding, deny it, blame the radar gun and ask the police officer to take your wheel so you also do the test yourself.
  10. If you’re issued a court summon ticket, accept it and ask the policeman the directions to the court, its rare for them to know where the premise is.
  11. Tell them you car has been at the mechanical shop for over a month and you just went for it and taking it home
  12. If you forget any of the above golden rules, use the old tactics that is proven to have 30% success rate: “do you know me, do you know my father, and do you know who I am”???

If you’re a police officer reading this please don’t share, if you’re a motorist please share.

Happy New Year