Ghana Police poking a stick into our eyes

Right at the center of many a discussion today is the decision of the Ghana Police Service to accept a GHc50,000.00 donation from the Chairman of the Ghana Association of Chinese Societies, Mr Tang Hong towards the construction of the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards (PIPS) Headquarters at the Nima Police Station in Accra. Mr. Tang Hong, is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CAITEC Group, and claims that he decided to donate when COP/Mrs. Osei-Poku approached him for assistance for the construction of the facility. According to the former Director-General of PIPS, COP Joana Osei-Poku (Rtd), the donation is in support of the efforts of the police to combat crime in the country. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) David Asante-Apeatu who received the donation on behalf of the Ghana Police Service actually profusely thanked Mr Hong for the kind gesture, saying the donation would be used for the intended purpose. Mr Hong had previously donated of 52 motorbikes made by the same person in 2016 to the Police. As if that was not enough, Mr Asante-Apeatu used the occasion to call on corporate organizations, philanthropists and other institutions to emulate Mr Hong. But Ghanaians from many well meaning walks of life have refused to swim along the same tide with the Ghana Police Service. It is my candid view that conflict of interest, which is the subject of contention (which the Ghana Police could be caught up in, now or later) is not just actual but perceived. Therefore, it is to REMOVE that perceived doubt of the inability of the police to act when called to do so that those whose taxes pay the Ghana Police are asking that they return it. Fact is, I see it as a means – real and imagined- to tie the hands of the Police. For some, The Ghana Police should not have received the money in the first place. Vitus Azeem, the former Executive Director at the Ghana Integrity Initiative, an anti-corruption group agrees with this position and argues that “the gesture is likely to influence the Police for which reason the money ought to be returned,” and adds that since the core function of CAITEC involves the supply of mining equipment, the same equipment used by illegal miners, this puts CAITEC in a conflict of interest situation. “There is general perception that the police could be compromised when it comes to dealing with CAITEC or things that CAITEC has interests in.” We the taxpayers of Ghana whose taxes pay the police their salaries say NO to the Ghc50, 000.00 from Mr Tang Hong of CAITEC! Yes! The same CAITEC company which deals in the importation of excavators, mining accessories and heavy equipment used in illegal mining/the galamsey that has destroyed nearly all of Ghana’s rivers and water bodies. A statement on Tuesday from the Ghana Police Service argues against the perception that the police can be influenced by this mere donation of GHc50,000.00. But is Mr Cephas Arthur, the Police Public Affairs Director who signed the statement and by extension the entire Ghana Police Service saying they do not know that CAITEC imports trucks and excavators and heavy duty equipment also used in the mining business and therefore may have a current or future interest in the reason why they are making the donation? Why will you want to go make a deal with the devil? Is it because the devil promises to be good and not come against you, even when you know that the devil is in the business of destroying people? Some have actually called for the sack or resignation of the Inspector General of Police for falling for such an anomaly. QUESTIONS

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  • Several people have questioned the decision of the Ghana Police Service to accept this donation at this critical time of all times when the Chinese have been found to be involved in illegal mining activities across the length and breadth of this country?
  • When it has been established that about 30,000 Chinese immigrants are engaged in the infamous galamsey businesses? When a large number of Chinese, (of course Malians too) have been arrested and are been prosecuted for engaging in galamsey?
  • When it has emerged that several rivers and water bodies across more than 8 regions are seriously polluted with chemicals and completely muddied, making the work of the Ghana Water Company Limited a high-priced venture?
  • When a large number of Ghanaians are contemplating stopping small scale mining completely until the regulators and Ministry of Lands and Forestry are able to wrap their minds around the menace?
It is true that CAITEC may not be personally involved in galamsey. But does it matter? Can they boldly come and say no equipment from their group has found its way into the galamsey camps and sites? It is for the ambiguity, the very doubts and perceptions that we cannot fence or be clear about that  and I think that the Ghana police must return that paltry sum, which cannot actually put us a PIPS office worth its name. Yes the Police will not be influenced. But it is because we cannot trust that promise of not being compromised that we think the police must act right. Already we do not trust the police when they are at their tasks without influences, how much more when members of the public tease them, as it were, with cash? So if the police needs money should they go to the same people they must whip into line or have whipped into line, arrested or jailed before? CAITEC’s Mr Hong is a businessman and is just playing smart. Our Police should not just be up and doing. They must be seen to be up and running at the task they have signed up for. Government must wake up to the real needs of the police so that they do not fall for the vagaries of companies such as CAITEC and the likes. But seriously, is it right for the police to be going round cup in hand begging for money from the public? Why won’t we set up a public fund that the public can unanimously make contributions into? Let us get serious and for once get it right. Let the Ghana Police stop poking sticks into our eyes.
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By Gideon Sackitey| Producer of Community Connect on Accra-based 3FM]]>


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