The Ghana Police Service has denied reports that its officers did not provide security at the one-year commemoration of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence.
In a statement issued on Sunday and signed by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Efia Tenge, Public Affairs Unit of Accra Regional Police, she said the the police service provided adequate security for the event.
“The Airport Divisional Police Command led teams from its jurisdiction with three support teams from the Regional Operations Counter Terrorism Unit and SWAT.
There were also Criminal Investigation Department personnel, Operation Calm Life (Police, Military collaboration) and officers from the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit,” the statement noted.
It added that a ten-member military stand-by force was positioned at a tactical location to offer the needed assistance when and where necessary.
The statement was in reaction to criticisms by former president John Mahama and veteran journalist ,Kwesi Pratt Jnr who said the police deliberately boycotted the commemoration.
Speaking at the event on Friday at La Bawaleshie in Accra, the former president said the police absence was an indictment on their professionalism.
According to Mr Mahama, he had read a message issued by the Ghana Police Service cautioning its officers and men to stay away from the commemoration or face severe sanctions.
“I read it and I felt sad but our police officers must remember that their dedication to duty is to the state and they should remain neutral and non-partisan,” he said.
The former president who is also the 2020 flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) hinted that should he win this year’s general election, he would work to ensure that Ghanaians’ confidence in the police was restored.
Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Editor-in-Chief of the Insight newspaper also criticised the service, saying, “This is the first time in my life and perhaps the first time in recorded history that a police institution is calling on policemen not to provide security.”
Now if the police are not providing security, what is the police there for?”
However the police statement maintained there was enough security presence at the event.
“These security arrangements were mainly to ward off criminal elements that may take advantage to foment trouble and we ensure adequate security before, during and after the event.
The Regional Command would like to reassure all political parties and the general public that it will remain impartial to perform its constitutional mandate of providing security for all and sundry,” it added.
BY NEW TIMES REPORTER