A meeting of the Management Board of the Police Administration at the headquarters took a nasty turn last Wednesday when Commissioner of Police (COP) Rose Atinga Bio, in charge of Administration, was alleged to have engaged in verbal exchanges with the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Mohammed Alhassan, following a misunderstanding.
At the centre of the undercurrent to the present tension in the service is the jostling for the position of the next Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Sources said it was a normal meeting of the top echelon of the service where the agenda included the issue of promotions and transfers which the IGP, Paul Tawiah Quaye, had ordered, his last major assignment prior to retirement.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that DIG Alhassan sought to exert his authority as Chairman of the management meeting (formerly known as Headquarters Management Board) by pulling a brake on the promotions and transfers.
But Rose Bio Atinga was said to have refused to submit to the authority of the DIG, pointing out that the will of the IGP be done, since according to her, he (Alhassan) was the head of the police, but she was in charge of Administration in the service.
Matters were said to have got to a head when Rose Bio allegedly demanded possession of the file containing the list of the affected officers.
A message about the development was said to have been transmitted to the seat of government, the Osu Castle, where a directive was issued asking that any such transfers and promotions be suspended until the appointment of a substantive Interior Minister.
Behind this acrimony among the top brass of the police is the race for the IGP post.
There is intense lobbying in the Police with even Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) declaring their interest for consideration.
Some COPs are highly qualified for the top job but they are seen as politically incorrect, leaving the turf for Rose Bio, Alhassan and John Kudalor.
Some of these ACPs are said to be saying that there was no sense in appointing Commissioners who have barely a year to leave the Service to the position of IGP when most of them (ACPs) have more years to serve.
Deputy Chief Constable Mohammed Alhassan admitted there was a meeting but he denied the misunderstanding between him and Rose Bio Atinga when DAILY GUIDE contacted him yesterday.
“It is not the way they are putting it; of course we share ideas, it’s an open forum, there can’t be any misunderstanding,” he told DAILY GUIDE.
“We want the best ideas out that’s all. We may agree and not agree on issues but that does not mean there can’t be any misunderstanding.”
Meanwhile, COP John Kudalor appears to be the favourite for the post of IGP.
For those who have noticed the inclination of government towards the man who has been in charge of the police, especially during the elections, they have wondered why DIG Mohammed Alhassan is being marginalized.
Mr Alhassan, the most experienced and senior officer after the retiring IGP, having held critical police positions at the United Nations (UN), has a year more to leave the Service, a fact which does not preclude him from being appointed chief constable.
There is however a precedent in the police service as in the case of former IGP Ernest Owusu Poku’s appointment in the year 2001 when the NPP assumed political power.
Though the man had less than a year to go on retirement, then President John Kufuor appointed him acting IGP, a position he held until his time was up.
Nana Owusu Nsiah took over the mantle thereafter till he retired in the year 2005 followed by Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong and Elizabeth Robertson Mills.
With the name of Mr Kudalor now flying high in government circles as likely IGP, the hopes of Rose Bio Atinga, in becoming the next IGP after the incumbent, appears to be dashed.
She therefore seems to have given up any hope of winning the favour of the authorities.
The Ghana Police Service has become a hotbed of politically-propelled promotions and postings to special units with the present developments not being an exception.
With the recent directive that all transfers be stopped forthwith until a new and substantive Interior Minister is appointed, the suggestion is that the President is intent on following such movements and even elevations with all his heart.
Even the admission of eligible persons into the Police College has been suspended, a development which could mean that for some, they have to lobby more to be given the nod.
During the last intake, some persons had their names dropped even after passing the entrance exams, a situation which prompted grumbling and frustration amongst police officers.
It is therefore a widely held belief that whoever wears the cap of IGP would either live with the many anomalies in the Service or attempt to reverse the order and incur the wrath of his political masters.
Even recruitment into the Service has been stained with instances of malfeasance.
Not too long ago, some police officers were arrested at the Police Hospital undertaking recruitment under the cover of darkness.
Virtually nothing has since been heard of what happened to the case with details being kept under wraps.
Source: Charles Takyi-Boadu/Daily Guide/Ghana
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