It is with great pleasure and a high sense of responsibility towards Mother Ghana and my party, that I take my turn on the ninth in the series of “How CPP Will Do It”; our programme of offering alternative policy visions in important sectors of Ghana’s governance system, as a government in waiting to provide good leadership for this country, effective January 7, 2013.
Over the past few weeks, colleague Shadow Cabinet members have convincingly shown Ghanaians how the CPP government will govern this country in the areas of Finance and Economic Planning, Justice, Social Welfare, Environment, Lands and Forestry; Women and Children and Political Affairs, as well as our expectations of what our national budgets should be, to engender economic growth and transformation for the benefit of all citizens.
Since “DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DOES NOT THRIVE IN INSECURITY,” I take my turn today, to present our policy vision on how the CPP government will provide security to life and property, as well as secure the territorial integrity of our homeland Ghana.
Chairman, Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, I wish to reiterate what has been affirmed here by my colleague Shadow Cabinet members for the past nine weeks on this platform, that our motivation for seeking political power to govern this country is not to enrich ourselves and our family members, but,
“…to establish in Ghana a strong and progressive society in which no one will have any anxiety about the basic means of life, about work, food and shelter; where poverty and illiteracy no longer exist, and disease is brought under control; and where our educational facilities provide all the children with the best possibilities for the development of their potentialities.”
In delivering on this goal, we will be guided by our party’s ideology of Nkrumahism, which thrives on the pillars of Self-Determination, Social Justice and Pan-Africanism.
Current Situation in Ghana:
We are all witnesses to the increase in violent crime, especially, armed robberies, around the country which have resulted in the loss of many lives, loss of property, and a decline in economic activities that take place mostly at night. While other economies work 24 hours and seven days a week, most productive sectors in Ghana run for only eight hours a day. Indeed, some commercial vehicles have stopped working at night, due to the menace of armed robbery. Market women live in fear that they will be robbed at dawn.
These days, it is the courageous few of our women folk who engage in trading activities that require them to leave their homes at dawn.
Political Intolerance and Killings:
Today, political intolerance in the country has permeated the whole society; it is quite disturbing and frightening that differences in opinions could result in the murder of political opponents, as happened to the former Chairman of the Northern Regional branch of the CPP, Comrade Isa Mobila, who was killed in cold blood some years ago for political reasons.
Political intolerance seems to have taken over the commanding heights of the country’s political landscape, a situation which is spreading like wild bushfire, and threatens to undermine national security and stability. The recent invocation of the law of “causing fear and panic” by the police to check the development, shows the gravity of the problem.
Adolf Hitler once said, “I used emotions for the many, and reserved reason for the few.” The medium which he used to achieve that was the media. According to him, since most people were soft minded, and therefore, passed judgements on issues before appraising them, it made such a category easier for manipulation and to be brainwashed to further his political ambitions. The recent infamous “Amina Mass Rape” story, which defies all reason, as discussed in the Ghanaian media, is a case in point, and indicates how far politicians will go to exploit security situations for their selfish ends.
Ethnic Conflicts and the Proliferation of Small Arms:
In the past 20 years, Ghana has witnessed many communal armed conflicts among some ethnic groupings, with the major ones being the Kokomba-Nanumba, Bawku and Dagbon conflicts which led to the killing of people and the disruption of economic life of the areas affected.
The consequences of these conflicts on the people and the economy are incalculable. The cost of maintaining troops for several months , even years has a concomitant effect on the national purse since resources which are needed to be channelled to other areas of national development are used to feed and organise for the parties involved in the conflict to smoke the peacepipe.
“How CPP Will Do It” The CPP Policy Vision:
The CPP vision for Ghana in one generation is to become a high income country, in a society that is just, safe, caring, united and prosperous. To achieve this will require SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION. This means transforming our country to become a society that is patriotic, disciplined and self reliant to pursue excellence as a national character, a society that is fair to all and where democratic and economic governance is devolved to the local level.
At the broad policy level, the CPP government will prioritise the development of an Early Warning System that works, to enable the security agencies to pick up signals of conflicts and disasters for timely preventive measures to be taken. It is envisaged that the early warning system will help security agencies to identify areas of conflict and develop potential conflict maps, pick up early signals of simmering tension in communities and provide early, rapid and urgent response.
During the inauguration of the Police Headquarters in Accra on June 9, 1962, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah summed up the measures that the government had instituted to improve and secure the security situation in the country and also spelled out the responsibilities especially of personnel of the Police Service which he said played a critical role in the maintenance of the law and order.
He said,” the reputation of the Ghana Police Service is very high and we are proud of that reputation, it is also gratifying to note that due to the various interventions that the government had put into place, the human material which now enters the Police Service has improved admirably. People with secondary education and even graduates are finding their way into the Police Service. This augurs well for the nation, as it is important that our Policemen should be well informed and be capable of balanced judgment.
Chairman, Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press:
Article 35(2) of the 1992 constitution is very clear in what is expected of the state when it comes to national security. It says; “the state shall protect and safeguard the independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ghana, and seek the well-being of all her citizens”.
Like in many other sectors of governance, successive governments have made some attempts since 1992 to deliver on this constitutional obligation. But it remains a cold matter of fact that these efforts can best be described as lip service rather that the development of a workable comprehensive national security policy effectively and efficiently implemented to safeguard the territorial integrity and the well-being of the citizens of Ghana.
The future CPP Administration will halt the trend of paying lip service to providing security to life and property, by developing a comprehensive national security policy, prioritised and budgeted for and diligently applying approved resources earmarked for the sector to give meaning to article 35(2) of the 1992 constitution. Specifically the CPP government will take the following measures:
Devolution of the Police Service:
In line with our proposed policy of devolution of governance to the local level, the CPP will abolish the idea of a national police service headed by a central Inspector General of Police (IGP) and rather have Metropolitan, Municipal and District Police Commissioners who are accountable to the local communities and are empowered to deal with peculiar local needs.
In countries where security to life and property have been well managed, there is no position like the IGP but a number of Commissioners of Police appointed to oversee the activities of the various regions making up the country and this has resulted into taking of quick decisions to avoid what would be bloody situations in several cases.
The CPP views the segregation of police men and women in barracks as neo-colonialist idea and a continuation of what the colonial authority did prior to independence. The modern idea is to have police personnel well remunerated and living WITHIN the local communities, with the people so that they can know and be responsive to needs rapidly with deep knowledge of facts on the ground. So the CPP will move police men and women away from barracks and find them suitable accommodation with the people they are to protect and serve.
In addition to the restructuring, the CPP government will provide the police with adequate resources, including walkie-talkies, vehicles, and intelligence-gathering logistics, to fight crime in general and violent crime in particular. We will Launch an eternal public education campaign on the social cost of crime and encourage the public through various rewards to help the police, such as reporting illegal manufacturers or sellers of firearms.
Ghana Immigration Service:
The contribution of the immigration service to national security can not be over emphasised. However performance of their core duties of examination and authorisation of applications for visas, issuance of entry and residence permits; processing of Ghanaian passport applications, border control and management; refugee registration, protection and management as well as the facilitation of the implementation of the Citizenship Act 591 of 2000; is fraught with difficulties and inconsistencies.
The CPP government will thoroughly overhaul the service to make it capable of combating the growing threats of cross border and cyber crimes as well as terrorism.
We will revive the construction of state of the art Immigration facilities started during the Acheampong regime with a sense of urgency and through negotiation revive the joint Ghana-Togo border post to facilitate the movement of goods and people in line with the CPP principle of Pan-Africanism. This will also be repeated in border towns with Cote D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
To be continued
Economic and Organised Crime:
The CPP believes in internal economic integrity of its people. With the onset of the oil and gas economy and cybercrime, the CPP will strengthen the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (known as the SFO) with technology and human resources to ensure discipline at all levels of economic activity. Sakawa and other growing crimes can be nipped in the bud. An important part of all of this will be a more serious implementation of the National Identification System to provide the opportunity to gather data so databases can be built to support the needs of security agencies, the financial institutions and others so that we can have a more disciplined and orderly society.
The Ghana Prison Service:
Like other security services, the prison Service lack facilities, logistics and adequate manpower for effective work. Prisons have now become overcrowded and degenerated into breeding grounds of hard core criminals instead of a centre for rehabilitation.
The CPP will establish Correctional Enterprises within the Prison Service so that the idea of reform and correction can be more firmly established. Correctional Enterprises will not only produce goods and services to pay for the cost of imprisonment but will produce revenue that will be used for skills development and other educational services to make prisoners able to make the transition to society successfully to reduce the incidence of repeat crime by ex-prisoners.
Ghana National Fire Service:
Undoubtedly, the GNFS is one of the most underfunded and poorly equipped strategic institutions in Ghana today and its poor state of its equipment led to the untimely death one if its personnel recently. The past two decades have witnessed massive fire outbreaks which had visited untold hardships, anguish and pain on victims. Market structures built with monies from the tax payer have been razed to the ground by fire while LPG stations across the country had been torched by fire resulting in the death of the people.
The CPP will uncompromisingly enforce the requirement for developers of housing estates, markets and other forms of infrastructure to submit their plans to the GNFS for technical advice. Developers and other individuals who fail to comply with the directive would have their structures demolished to serve as deterrent to others. In addition, corporate entities, ministries, departments and agencies will be encouraged and supported to take preventive safety measures to avoid the occurrence of fires.
The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and the Drug War:
The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB)
Section 55 of the PNDC Law 236 established the Narcotic Control Board to
a. Ensure strict enforcement of Ghana’s drugs laws
b. Co-ordinate and consolidate government’s drug war activities.
Comrades and friends, due to lack of political will, resource and competency, the activities of NACOB had been constrained to a large extent.
To confront the Narcotics Menace the CPP will work to rid the security and related agencies of corrupt officials, implement existing recommendations for reforms, and then launch an anti-narcotics policy based on Interception, Prosecution, Treatment, and Education as follows:
(i) Interception: Provide adequate resources to the Narcotics Control Board and other agencies to improve intelligence and interception as well as collaborate with international organisations to stem the flow of drugs.
(ii) Prosecution: Resource police, judiciary and other state agencies to prosecute and punish drug-related offenders, particularly traffickers. Re-introduce stricter laws on the seizure of properties acquired from drug proceeds directly or indirectly.
(iii) Treatment: Provide resources for existing institutions and create new ones, if necessary, to provide treatment for drug abusers, particularly the youth. We shall encourage civil society organisations to do the same.
(iv) Public Education: Introduce drug-abuse education in schools as well as launch a national public awareness programme on radio, TV and other media on the harmful effects of drug abuse to individuals, families and society
Recruitment into the Security Agencies:
The CPP is unhappy with the over politicisation of recruitment into the security services. The CPP will ensure a recruitment policy based solely, on merit and demonstrated ability. In addition, the selection of police recruits in particular will be at the district levels so that adequate background checks could be carried out on such recruits in their respective electoral areas.
This is to ensure that only people with sound conduct and character are recruited into the various security agencies especially the police. In addition, the course content of the Police Service will be thoroughly reviewed to reflect modern policing and the demands of the contemporary society. For this reason emphasis should be placed on courses like the study of human psychology, management and rudiments of law.
We are ware of the series of meetings that have taken place between the Interior Ministers of Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso to discuss cross-border crime and sub-regional security issues in recent years.
We are also aware that 15 countries including Cape Verde, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, Liberia, Cote d’lvoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Niger have committed to collaborating to fight cross border crime.
That development is consistent with the Pan Africanism pillar of the CPP Ideology. The CPP government will naturally remain committed to all the binding regional Conventions, such as (ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other related Materials), intended to reduce the armed violence that has ravaged the region.
Integration of the Security Agencies:
A CPP government would encourage security apparatuses in the country to integrate their activities in order to share vital information on intelligence especially on cross border crimes, narcotics, proliferation of small arms and the formation of rebel and other militant groups. The need for integration of the activities of the security agencies has become more critical especially so when Ghana will be exporting oil in commercial quantities before the end of the year.
Under the CPP regime therefore, the Ghana Police Service would be equipped with speed boats and other sophisticated gadgets to help personnel apprehend and hand over to law courts for prosecution persons who would attempt to smuggle oil across our borders for their personal benefit.
Since crime in the 21st century transcends the borders of Ghana, the CPP government will rely on its Pan African networks to create avenues for leadership of the security agencies to engage in regular interaction with their counterparts in the West African sub-region and elsewhere in the world especially the International Police (INTERPOL), in the national efforts to fight crime.
Ghana’s present and future development depends to a greater extent on the way it manages its internal security to create an environment which will engender confidence in the masses of the people to go about their normal duties without fear or intimidation.
The CPP is fully aware of this great responsibility and we are fully prepared to protect and safeguard the independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ghana, as well as seek the well-being of citizens of Ghana, when given the mandate to govern this great nation, come January 7, 2013.
I thank you for your attention.