The Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) has commended the Ghana Police Service for assurance that it will demonstrate its neutrality by being accountable to the law and all Ghanaians.
It noted that the perception held by sections of the public that the Police was biased, partial and unprofessional could only be done away with if the Police remained fair, firm and non-partisan in the discharge of their duties.
The CFI is therefore full of praise for the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, for the statement he issued on 25 April, 2012 in which he addressed a broad range of issues, among which were elections.
A statement signed by Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director for Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), a member of the CFI-Steering Group, said the position of the CFI was informed by its efforts to contribute to the sustenance of peace, stability, national cohesion and development in the country.
It recalled that in a statement it issued on the national political situation on April 18, 2012, the CFI noted that the Ghana Police Service, for some time now, has been grappling with the challenge of negative public perception of its institutional autonomy, operational neutrality and professionalism and how to effectively address it.
The IGP's statement reassures the nation that the Police under his leadership will professionally, ethically and democratically deal with any threat to the peace and security of the country that may arise.
The CFI was convinced that public support for the IGP?s stand would be crucial to the effective translation of the commitment of the Police into action.
Nonetheless, it had some proposals for the Police which would further assure the public that the it has indeed embarked on a course of action that should strengthen public confidence in its institutional capacity to execute its constitutional mandate satisfactorily. They included
- The insulation of the Police from unwarranted political pressures at all levels of operation must be manifestly seen to be done;
-Enhance the neutrality of the Police and increase public confidence in the management of election security; and
-To curb any form of impunity as the peak of the campaigns approaches, it called on the Police to swiftly investigate and expedite action on all reported cases of violence during the just ended Biometric Voter registration exercise and prosecute culprits without fear or favour.
The CFI is a broad coalition of civil society actors with an overall objective of the mobilizing citizens and civic groups to participate in the management of the electoral processes in order to sustain peace, stability, national cohesion and development in the country.