The Director General in charge of Police Operations, COP Christian Tetteh Yohonu, has instructed police officers to gun down their colleagues involved in armed robbery attacks.
He has also charged the officers to henceforth deal even more ruthlessly with any armed robber found in any corner of the country. COP Yohonu issued these instructions Friday at the close of a 21-day Counter-Terrorism and High-Risk Operations training programme organised at the Police Public Safety Training School (PPSTS) at Pwalugu in the Upper East region.
“We are also going to deal ruthlessly with all the personnel among us who have joined the robbery gang. Turn the barrel of your gun to your personnel who are armed robbers. Let us deal ruthlessly with them. Let us not spare them. Let us wipe them out.
“If you have been given this honourable uniform from your village and you are even remunerated well and even better than somebody who has gone to university and with this it’s not enough for you. You have the capabilities, the chances to travel outside to make money on peacekeeping mission, [yet] you get yourselves in robbery to put people to shame. Look at what our men are doing. This is a message for you,” the Director-General told a strong-looking parade of police officers at Pwalugu days after some police officers allegedly aided armed robbers in a fatal attack on a GCB van in the Eastern region.
The Director General continued as the assembly of officers now cheered in loud approval: “The barrel of the gun should be pointed against our own personnel who get involved in armed robbery. We shouldn’t spare them at all. Your training is to help to deal with robbery incidents. The Police Administration headed by Mr. Kudalor will continue to roll out training programmes to make every good policeman handle high-level operational exigencies.”
Trainees to protect every region against terrorist attack
The officers who took part in the programme have been trained as anti-violence advocates and combatants with a special focus on cross-border terrorism.
The Director of Counter-Terrorism and Coordinator of High Risk Operations Training, Superintendent Raymond Adofiem, told Starr News at the close of the programme that the Police Administration “is aiming at training 30 officers for every region”.
“We are aiming at 30 for each region but for now we have finished with 15 officers for every region in Ghana. Another batch is arriving this Saturday evening to do another 21 days. It’s a quick response to help reduce violence, reduce the likelihood of terrorist attack and minimise collateral damage whilst saving more lives.
“They are violent-crime combatants and anti-violence advocates. They will educate people against violence and they will equally ensure that if you go ahead to do it, they will stop you by whatever means. They are the same people who will be protecting every region against terrorist attack,” Superintendent Adofiem said.
Don’t brutalise civilians – officers warned
Further warnings were fired at the climax of the training programme as the officers were cautioned against excesses in the course of their operations.
“Don’t go and join the robbers with what you have been taught here or go and use your physique to brutalise the citizens whom you are expected to protect,” the Upper East Regional Police Commander, DCOP Simon Afeku, strongly warned.
Whilst expressing gratitude for being selected for the programme, the trainees also asked for logistical support to enable them discharge their duty as effectively as is expected. A rare jamboree capped the event as senior officers, including the Director General, took to the dancing floor with the junior ranks to the tunes of music coming from a police band amid a sharp reminder that the services of the same trainees would be needed to avert snatching of ballot boxes as Ghana prepares for the 2016 general elections.