Annual leave for security personnel across the country, has been suspended until January.
The decision is to enable the personnel to prepare adequately ahead of the upcoming general elections, Christmas festivities, the inaugural and swearing-in ceremonies of the President, his Vice and Members of Parliament (MPs).
However, leave may be granted in extreme circumstances.
In separate interviews with The Ghanaian Times, the country’s security chiefs, indicated that the move had become necessary to enable them to prepare adequately for the task ahead.
The security chiefs are the Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Marshall Michael Samson-Oje, the Controller-General of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) Felix Sarpong, Chief Fire Officer Dr. Albert Brown-Gaisie, the acting Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) Emmanuel Yao Adzator, and the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr. John Vianney.
They contended that personnel were usually given prior notice to apply for their annual leave to ensure there were adequate personnel on the ground towards such national assignments
The IGP said the Ghana Police Service had since September 1, suspended the granting of leave so as to have personnel to deploy.
According to him, a circular was issued months ago to remind personnel in order to prepare them ahead of the task.
The IGP said “assignments of such nature require enough preparation, considering the fact that more is expected of the police to deliver”.
For his part, Air Marshall Samson-Oje said the general elections and other events were key and would require adequate military personnel on the grounds for such duties.
He said the Armed Forces like any of the security agencies, were determined to discharge their duties diligently before, during and after the general elections, and to ensure that the country’s territories were safe.
The Controller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service, said also that a circular on the suspension of leave was issued last Thursday, September 15.
The decision, he said, was to enable the Service to get full men to be deployed across the country to provide security in the upcoming elections and other national duties.
Dr.Brown-Gaisie said, information to that effect was circulated long ago to all Fire Service personnel, except that management was yet to announce the date of the suspension.
He said as a member of the National Elections Security Task Force, GNFS was doing all it could to ensure that the election was conducted successfully.
The acting Director-General of Prisons, said his outfit had dispatched a circular notifying personnel across the various prisons, of the suspension of annual leave which took effect yesterday, Monday, September 19.
“All forms of leave have been suspended prior to the general elections”, he stated.
Mr. Adzator said the various prisons facilities would also be beefed up with the supporting staff from the Youth Employment Module who would be deployed nationwide for election duties.
Besides, its Operations and the Special Weapons and Tactics Units would be on standby to provide security, “since some of the inmates would also be voting at the various prisons facilities”.
The Commissioner of Customs, John Vianney, said personnel who would take part as the upcoming elections were notified as far back in March.
“They were equally informed of when to take their leaves and when not to take their leave, in order to prepare them fully towards the upcoming elections,” he stated.
By Francis Asamoah Tuffour