DO THE POLICE NEED TO EXPLAIN MOTOR CHECK MEMO?

Many Ghanaians are still trying hard to understand the order by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to all police personnel on road patrol duties to restrict their activities to traffic management.

In a terse internal memo which the Police Administration says was leaked, the IGP directed all personnel of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) to stop checking drivers’ licenses and vehicle documents.

The memo, which was directed at regional, divisional, district and unit commanders, also instructed personnel to check for arms and ammunition.

Signed by Commissioner of Police Ransford Moses Ninson, the leaked memo is causing a stir and many are speculating about the real reason why such a decision should be taken by the IGP.

The Director of Public Affairs of the Police Service, Superintendent Cephas Arthur, came close to explaining the reason, but only said it was for operational reasons.

The questions that are being raised by commentators and the spin doctors suggest that there are other motives rather than the one stated in the memo.

The Times do not have any reason to doubt the Police, and we believe that they do not have to explain their operational details to the public.

But the leaked memo is causing anxiety among the public and it is only the Police that can allay the fears of the public by explaining the rationale behind the order.

The Police would have to do it because, unfortunately, the document leaked and has generated all sorts of interpretations.

There are those who see nothing with the order but others believe that there is an unexplained political reason.

Ordinarily, this directive, which is a normal order, would not have generated public discussion, but it has because of the political season.

The mistrust between political opponent has fuelled the discussion which has been skewed to suggest that the directive was influenced by political motives.

We find it rather difficult to attach any political motive, but it would be best if the Police explained to the public.

We are in the period where opposing political parties are contesting ideas and capitalising on issues to score political points and issues like this provide folder for speculation and distortion of facts.

In fact an institution such as the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), expressed grave concern about the order which it described as inimical to efforts to reduce road carnage.

The role of the Police in traffic management and road safety cannot be over emphasised.

Any decision that would undermine road safety in particular, is not acceptable.

Therefore, the police owe it a duty to the public to explain the leaked memo to put all Ghanaians at ease.

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