Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi, Chairman of the Eastern Legal Team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has called for the need to ensure that a professional police force rather than one embroiled in politics going into the 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Highlighting the paramount duty of the police to protect life and property, enshrined in the 1992 constitution, Lawyer Minta Larbi expressed apprehension about alleged deviations from this duty under the current NPP government.
He cited instances of what he referred to as arbitrary police conduct, including unlawful arrests, detentions, and harassment.
He asserted that the police must operate with professionalism and integrity, drawing attention to the Ghana Police Service’s motto, “Service with Integrity.”
He argued that professionalism is integral to maintaining integrity in the service and that recent events, such as the handling of the Occupy Julorbi House demonstrations, raised questions about whether the police were living up to their motto.
Lawyer Minta Larbi insisted that as a professional institution, the Ghana Police Service should consistently demonstrate professionalism when interacting with citizens. He cautioned that failing to do so would tarnish the institution’s reputation, which is unacceptable.
With the 2024 elections looming and political tensions expected to rise, Lawyer Minta Larbi stressed the importance of a professional police force. He expressed concerns that a police force involved in partisan politics, particularly aligning with the ruling government, could undermine Ghana’s democracy and lead to chaos.
He further called on the police service to uphold professionalism and demonstrate to Ghanaians and the world that they are indeed a professional institution. He emphasized that anything less than this standard would not be tolerated.
Lawyer Minta Larbi also expressed the NDC’s determination not to accept a politicized police force in Ghana leading up to the 2024 elections. He affirmed their commitment to closely monitor the situation, emphasizing that the 2024 electionsl is crucial, and the role of the police is pivotal in ensuring a peaceful and fair electoral process.
Below is his full statement;
WE NEED A PROFESSIONAL POLICE GOING INTO ELECTION 2024 AND NOT A POLITICAL POLICE.
The number one duty of the police is to protect life and property and this mandate of the police is enshrined in the 1992 constitution.
However, the police many times under the NPP government has abandoned their professional responsibilities and engage in arbitrary conduct including unlawful arrest, detentions, and harassment which are completely unjustifiable.
If you look at the motto of the Ghana Police Service it says “Service with Integrity.”
There’s no way one can provide a service with integrity without the person being professional.
From the way and manner the police has handled the Occupy Julorbi demonstrations and how they conducted themselves, it is clear the police are not living up to their own integrity which their motto subscribes.
The Ghana Police Service is a professional institution and it is expected that anytime they encounter the citizens they must demonstrate professionalism. If not they become a disreputable institution and that is unacceptable.
Next year is election year and with the expected campaign from all sides the tension in the country would be very high.
A professional police can easily handle situations and demonstrate their integrity through professionalism.
However, a police that decides to engage in politics by doing the bidding of one party especially the ruling government would end up undermining our democracy and throw the country into chaos.
We therefore admonish the police service to be professional and demonstrate to Ghanaians and the world that they are indeed a professional institution.
We can’t accept anything lesser than that.
We do not want the police to plunge the country into chaos.
In fact, when tensions are high it is the police that must conduct themselves in a manner that would calm the tensions down and not to make it worse.
On this note we want to sound a warning to all policemen that if any of them engages in Political policing before, during and after the elections, all such police personnel would have themselves to blame.
We would not accept a political police in Ghana leading into the elections next year and we would keep our eyes and ears on the ground.
Elections 2024 is a do or die and we do not want to see the police standing in our way.
Any police officer who stands in the way is making his job in the police service coterminous with the end of the NPP government in December 2024.
We hope that Dr. Dampare would ensure that only the well trained and very professional policemen would be the ones he would deploy going forward and especially during the general elections.
Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi
Chairman, Eastern Legal Team NDC.