Ghana: Have the Police Woken Up?

editorial

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will deliver its ruling on the motion filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) asking to be made a party to the election petition, filed by three stalwarts of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) challenging the Electoral Commission's declaration of John Dramani Mahama as winner of the December 7, 2012 presidential election.

The NPP trio - 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, NPP National Chairman - claim that alleged electoral irregularities enabled Mahama's votes to be bloated to the extent that he would not be winner if those votes were taken from his final the figure.

With only President Mahama and the Electoral Commission listed as respondents, the NDC, on whose ticket the winner contested the election, raised a motion for joinder, which the petitioners opposed.

After a false start on January 10, when NPP's intended objection to the composition of the 9-man court empanelled to hear the joinder forced a postponement, the hearing finally came off last Wednesday January 16 without the objection, after which the court fixed ruling for this Tuesday, January 22.

However, while the lawyers battled with their wits, some hoodlums dressed in NDC paraphernalia and armed with canes whipped passers-by, including, a pregnant woman, while policemen assigned to the Supreme Court that day for security purposes turned a blind eye.

The police's inexplicable inability or refusal to arrest any of the trouble makers has led to an avoidable political controversy, with the NDC denying that the marauding men and women were its supporters, and the NPP insisting they were, and warning that it also has fanatics it could mobilise.

The fear is that the two power-drunk parties may attempt a show of strength tomorrow, as the Supreme Court delivers its ruling in the motion for joinder. This is why The Chronicle calls on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Paul Tawiah Quaye, to awaken his men from their criminal, fear-induced slumber, and re-instruct them on how to fulfil the Police Service's pledge to maintain the peace before, during, and after the 2012 elections, which is still on-going with the pending petition.

If the police had lived up to their responsibility last Wednesday, they would have enabled Ghanaians to know for sure which party's supporters those miscreants were.

The various ethnic groups in Ghana may not have the deeply ingrained irreconcilable differences that make the Hutus and Tutsi in Rwanda and the Kikuyus and the Luos in Kenya jump for each other's jugular at the slightest excuse, but such police partisanship that allows a culture of impunity to thrive, unwittingly encourages mindless power hungry or power drunk politicians in search of vain glory, to sow seeds of hatred, and if care was not taken, could become incendiary for our great grandchildren.

The Chronicle is sure IGP Tawiah Quaye does not wish the killing fields of Rwanda, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire for his descendants. No other Ghanaian does either, given our networks of multiple in-laws and cousins across the length and breadth of the country.

That is why we call on him to live up to his responsibility today. NOW!

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