The Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Ghana Police Service, David Asante-Apeatu, has sent a strong message to land guards and vigilante groups saying the Police will ramp up efforts to arrest the rising incidence of the activities of these miscreants in the coming days.
“Any act of land guards and people calling themselves vigilantes that will infringe upon the laws of the land shall be met with the full might of the Ghana Police Service”, the IGP made this known during the launch of ‘Operation Father Christmas’ on Thursday, 6 December 2018 at the Police Headquarters in Accra.
The activities of these land guards has left innocent citizens either maimed or brutally murdered by some of these Land guards, while the disturbing trend of vigilantism in the political scene has been a serious national security issue in the country.
Political parties in numerous occasions have been cautioned against empowering vigilante groups mostly affiliated to the two major political parties-NPP, NDC.
But Police recently said it is not overwhelmed by the wave of vigilantism seen under the current New Patriotic Party(NPP) government.
“…As and when they come we deal with it, but if the case is in court then it is out of the hands of the Police Service. We’re not struggling to deal with it,” the CID Boss told host Bola Ray on his Personality Profile Show- Starr Chat weeks ago.
According to her, 5 related cases of vigilantism has been recorded so far of which three of the cases have been dealt with by the court while two are currently being investigated by her outfit.
Her account on vigilantism however was in sharp contrast with that of an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzor, the Director of Transformation Programmes Office, who recently intimated that the current constitutional arrangement of appointment and removal of the police leadership did not embolden police chiefs to act impartially asking the government to consider amending the 1992 Constitution to give the Ghana Police Service (GPS) independence to operate and protect the citizens from violent groups.
“You cannot tie the hands of the Police and expect us to work professionally,” ACP Agordzor said at a roundtable discussion held on the theme: “Breaking the Cycle of Vigilantism in Ghanaian Politics,” organised by the Institute for Democratic Governance in Accra.
Also former Deputy Minister, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Emmanuel Habuka Bombande, has blamed the incessant attacks by vigilante bodies in the country on government and its interference in the management and service of the police.
He finds it surprising that political parties or some authorities in the country, for personal reasons, ‘take it easy’ on these sects when they misbehave and yet turn around to blame security personnel for their sluggishness in handling issues.