The Ghana Police Service has been accused of perpetuating violent acts on Ghanaians in the performance of their mandate.
Describing it as “organised acts”, Nana Aborampa-Mensah,
Senior Programmes Officer, Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) – Ghana, explained that such acts by the police had mostly been under the guise of application of minimal force.
Speaking at a panel discussion on Ghana’s current security challenges in Accra on Thursday, he cited the Asawaase shootings, the killing of a man at Agbogba and police brutality on some citizens at Adenta as some examples of the violent acts being perpetrated by the police.
Out of the 86 fatalities recorded in 2018 as a result of violent acts, he said, a study by CDD-Ghana found that 80 per cent were through the actions of police officials.
“Although much talk has centred on political violence, there is currently an ongoing organised violence being perpetrated by the police. It is mostly done with the excuse of applying minimal force but the outcome has been fatal and destructive,” he stated.
To address the growing canker, Mr Aborampa-Mensah called for review of police ethics and professionalism and redefinition of the concept of community policing
to keep police officials abreast with modern best practices in protecting lives and property.
He further proposed publication of reported cases against police officials to enhance transparency and establishment of an independent avenue for citizens to seek redress when they feel wronged by a police official.
Brigadier General (Dr) Emmanuel Wekem Kotia of the Ghana Armed Forces reiterated the importance of capacity building in new approaches for improving protection, monitoring and other security activities for security agencies to help in countering emerging threats.
The dynamics of West Africa’s security challenges, he said, required good governance, vibrant and open press as well as civil society groups to educate the public on security threats.
Dr Festus Kofi Aubyn, Researcher at the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR) of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), noted that political commitment to fund agencies responsible for the control of small arms was necessary to curb proliferation of illicit arms.
He recommended security presence at border towns to deter arms traffickers from undertaking their operations and called for immediate responses to root causes of arms proliferation including political exclusion, povertyand unemployment, among others.
Security expert, Colonel Rtd Festus Boahen Aboagye, said weak border controls was fostering insecurity and promoting proliferation of arms within the region.
He noted that it was time to enhance counter terrorism security and develop a national security strategy that creates the platform for the country to tackle emerging security threats.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS