It is one exercise that has been over-flogged. Every now and then, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) organises exercises to rid the city of unauthorised structures. It is a common sight in the city of Accra to see officials of the AMA razing down kiosks and other structures illegally constructed, which impede traffic and pedestrian walk-ways in the national capital.
With Accra being declared a Millennium City, it is imperative that the national capital is devoid of structures that deface it, in terms of beauty. Various administrations have spent national and metropolitan resources trying to make the capital clean.
Invariably, the police provide security for such exercises. In terms of enforcing the law, our men in the black uniform have been very enthusiastic. There are a number of occasions when they have been accused of high-handedness. It is all in their line of duty.
As the lead story in the Accra File published on page 6 today indicates, the police themselves have not been able to show a clean bill of health in the exercise. Various police barracks in the city the file visited exhibited symptoms of the disease, which the police are helping the city authorities to cure.
At Dansoman, Tesano, Mamprobi, Accra Central, Mataheko and many other police stations and barracks in Accra, kiosks and other structures have taken over pavements and every space available. In effect, the police are guilty of the very offence they are helping to eradicate.
It tells much about why such exercises have never been successful over the years. If those providing security are themselves offenders, there is very little chance of the exercise ever being successful.
The law is no respecter of persons. That is why The Chronicle is urging a special exercise to rid our police stations of unauthorised structures, before the police themselves would have the moral right to provide the security to remove such illegal structures in town.
It would be a nice exercise to rid our various police stations of such structures which contribute to the filth that is overtaking our police barracks.
The Holy Book enjoins complainers to remove the beam from their eyes before attempting to remove the log from a neighbour’s eye.
We would like to believe that the Inspector General of Police would be interested in ridding the barracks of all illegal structures.
Police barracks throughout the country have never been examples of beautiful edifices. It is one of the ironies of maintaining a disciplined police service that the barracks have always failed the beauty test.