IGP orders arrest of ‘foot soldiers’

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, yesterday ordered the arrest and prosecution of lawless youth who engaged in anarchy in the name of politics.

With the clearest signal to demonstrate the capacity of the police to deal with the situation, the IGP directed police commanders throughout the country to act swiftly to ensure that such lawlessness ceased.

Mr Quaye’s directive was, indeed, given a swift response with the arrest of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Abuakwa South Constituency Secretary, Mr Shakespeare Ofori-Atta, who, together with other constituency executives, allegedly threatened officials of the District National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the area and later forcibly closed the office.

The irate NDC activists were alleged to have chased away the newly appointed District NHIS Manager, Mr Daniel Adjei Danjuma, and hoisted red flags on the premises to register their displeasure over unclear grievances.

Moments after the closure of the NHIS office, Mr Ofori-Atta went on radio to dare the police to a showdown, saying he did not fear the police because, as he put it, no matter how long the moustache of a mouse might be, it could not scare a cat.

He further threatened that if the police dared to arrest him, the NHIS office would go up in flames within 15 minutes of his arrest.

According to the Director of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Kwesi Ofori, who conveyed the IGP’s directive to the Daily Graphic, Mr Ofori-Atta was currently in custody at Kyebi while the police preferred appropriate charges against him for unlawful entry.

The IGP’s directive comes in the wake of widespread anarchy by foot soldiers of the ruling NDC who have resorted to violence and arbitrariness to register their displeasure at the running of government and also seek redress to their grievances.

In some instances, irate foot soldiers have seized vehicles, closed down district NHIS offices and district National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) offices, as well as chased  some district chief executives (DCEs) out of their offices while demanding the removal of other DCEs and regional ministers from office.

The police have remained apathetic to those developments, with minimal response, but now the IGP is asking his commanders to act strictly and swiftly within the parameters of the law and without recourse to sex, colour, creed or political affiliation to arrest those who breach the law and peace of the country.

Mr Quaye reiterated the mandate of the police to maintain public order at all times, adding that it was time for the lawlessness, vandalism and violence across the country to cease.

He urged the commanders to, as much as possible, exert their authority on law enforcement. Supt Ofori disagreed with a suggestion that the directive by the IGP had been late in coming, considering how long such lawlessness had gone on.

According to him, the police had been able to “de-escalate” some of the violence by the NDC foot soldiers and also arrested and processed others for court.

“The police will be tough on them because they can’t take the law into their own hands,” he said.

Source: Daily Graphic

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