Managing editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., has revealed that IGPs and security personnel in the country have the potential of influencing the outcome of elections.
According to him, policemen are deployed for elections because the will of the citizens can be subverted. As such, he noted that they are present to avert such incidents from happening.
He therefore revealed that he “disagrees” with such remarks made by IGP Dampare when he appeared before the committee probing the planned ousting of the IGP yesterday.
Citing the violence that occurred at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, Mr Pratt indicated that there are many scenarios where policemen, especially IGPs, can influence the outcome of an election. He explained that the incident at Ayawaso is a case where intervention by state security actors led to a certain outcome of an election.
“Here’s the IGP who is saying that only citizens elect a government and that the police have nothing to do with it – it’s not true. If that were true, why are policemen deployed for elections?… So, Inspector Generals of Police, even ordinary policemen can influence the outcome of elections.
“The truth is security services can influence the outcome of elections, and that is why it is important to have purely professional security service.”Kwesi Pratt
Furthermore, Mr Pratt stated that due to the level of influence police personnel have, it is important that thorough supervision of elections must be handled by professionals. He reckoned that irrespective of political leanings of police officers, they should act professionally.
Committee urged to stick to carrying out its mandates
Expressing his impression on the committee’s questioning of the IGP, Mr Pratt revealed that he was “really surprised” about some of the developments. He noted that the committee initially lost focus in its line of questioning the IGP, deviating from the substantive matter.
“You have a businessman and a politician of sorts, and policemen go into conclave and actually discuss how to subvert the 1992 constitution in graphic detail. A committee is setup to investigate the matter and so far, all we are hearing about are promotions in the police service, other administrative things, the eligibility of the IGP, [it] makes me sick. So, I’m beginning to see a certain shift of focus which is very deeply worrying for me.”Kwesi Pratt
Moreover, Mr Pratt underscored that the seeming lack of focus from the committee suggests that the only outcome of the proceedings will be “raft of observations and recommendations which will bury the essential issue of the subversion of the 1992 constitution”.
To this end, Mr Pratt urged the committee to focus its attention on the clear mandates, as given by the Speaker of parliament. The clear mandate, he noted, is to authenticate the tape recording, rather than focusing on matters that may not appear to be relevant to the core issues.
“I watched proceedings yesterday and I was also struck by something. The expression of ethnic, regional and religious solidarity was sickening for me. In 2023, there’s such a public display of ethnic, regional and religious solidarity in a crucial matter such as the one that the committee is investigation…”Kwesi Pratt
Meanwhile, Mr Pratt lauded the IGP for his composure and eloquence during interrogation by committee members. He revealed that IGP Dampare “carried himself extremely well” and appeared quite sober.
“The other thing which was also striking was his effort to demonstrate his qualification to be IGP… He found a way of showing how he joined the police service, the various ranks he’s been through, educational qualifications, and I was left with no doubt that in terms of qualification to be IGP, he was as qualified as any other person…”Kwesi Pratt