It cannot be challenged that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the entire Police Administration, which he heads, have read the statement issued by the Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) expressing unhappiness at the situation where the police in the region refer reporters there to Accra for clarifications on matters of public interest.
That statement, though coming from the Ashanti Region, speaks for all journalists in the country.
Information from the grapevine has it that the current state of affairs has been master-minded by the IGP.
If that is the case, can the IGP explain to the whole world the reason(s) for such a position?
It is surprising that in the era of decentralisation and all its benefits, the IGP can take the whole police service into antiquity of centralisation.
Is the IGP not aware that the Right to Information (RTI) Bill was passed on March 26, 2019 by the Parliament of Ghana, received Presidential assent on May 21, that same year and took effect in January, 2020?
Can the Police Administration submit a clean report for 2022 in line with Section 77of the Right To Information Act, 2019 (Act 989), which demands that public institutions submit reports to the RTI Commission?
The Ghanaian Times is using the expression “a clean report” because the paper wonders if the IGP or his schedule officer can sign a report that describes the current situation as it is.
The Police Administration should not think that the scanty information it provides on its Twitter Account can exonerate it from any accusation of denying the media the necessary information.
It appears the IGP and his management team want to conceal some things, otherwise, why should even police officers designated to give information to the media, for that matter the public, be cautioned not to discharge their duties to the public they are supposed to serve?
Does the IGP and his management team realise the inconvenience they are creating for journalists who need police confirmations to put out credible news reports, especially on crime, road crashes and other disasters?
Why should everyone seeking information from the police come to or wait for it from Accra?
What should the police public communication officers do henceforth? Idle about or what? The public demands the answers.
Have the IGP and his team thought of how the situation would be like if all such public institutions as the courts, the armed forces, the fire and immigration services deny the public non-classified information, which is needed for some purposes?
Does the IGP think he and his team can use only their tweets to communicate everything concerning them, including events they organise?
It is natural that every administration, political, corporate or institutional, would like to leave a mark for remembrance but this “information starvation” would never be a mark to draw a smile or joy but one to attract derision and condemnation.
Therefore, the IGP and his team must revisit their decision and immediately do the needful for sanity to prevail, particularly between the police and the media.