A piece of my mind: Knowing when to walk away

The person I speak of this morning was recruited into the Ghana Police Service on July 27, 1990, and rose through the ranks. When she passed out, she was first posted to the Police Hospital Accounts Section as a constable...


The person I speak of this morning was recruited into the Ghana Police Service on July 27, 1990, and rose through the ranks. When she passed out, she was first posted to the Police Hospital Accounts Section as a constable. After the 18-month probation, she was promoted to the rank of a Sergeant in 1992 because she enlisted with a Diploma in Business Studies (Accounting Option) which she obtained at the Kumasi Polytechnic between 1988 and 1990. Having been promoted to Sergeant, she enrolled with the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana, in 1995 and passed the Level Two examinations successfully. She was subsequently promoted to the position of Chief Inspector. This granted her direct entry to the Police College in October 1998. In May 1999, out of a class of 48 (46 men and two women), she was adjudged the All-Round Best Cadet and the Best Student in Humanities, making her the second female to take that award at the time. Along the line, she was made the administrator at the Police Hospital when the person in charge went on a Peacekeeping Mission. She later had the opportunity of going on a similar Mission in Kosovo where she acted as the Logistics and Finance Officer for the Missing Persons Unit. With all this under her belt, she was posted to the Police Headquarters Finance section. She also is a Certified Fraud Examiner. The list goes on and on, but as you may have guessed already, I speak of no one else this morning but COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah.

Only recently, The Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, was promoted to the rank of Commissioner of Police (COP). This promotion took effect from April 1, 2019, and was effected by His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, based on the recommendation of the Police Council. Before that, in October 2017, the former Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) had been promoted to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), which appointment took effect the from November 1, 2017. With all these promotions, one would expect that COP Tiwaa Addo-Danquah's work would have been as minimally susceptible to criticism as possible. Unfortunately, that has proven not to be the case.

Your promotions have been at the behest of the Police Council, yes, and endorsed by His Excellency the President. But I have never been confident in an Executive that exercises such overweening powers when it comes to the Police Council. Who, may I ask, chairs the Police Council? And who is the boss of the person who chairs that Council? And if - and I am being very hypothetical here - there were some people favoured by the Executive arm of government, of which the Ghana Police Service is a part, would that not suggest that such promotions, sometimes, could be, for lack of a better word, MANIPULATED? I am not, of course, insinuating that any such thing has happened. The recent rapid coup-leader-like promotions of Tiwaa Addo Danquah, though, have got me scratching my head in different areas.

Like the leaders of coup d'états who usually promote themselves rapidly to the rank of General and so on, your meteoric rise in just a few months has got many wondering what you have been doing so differently that has warranted your trajectory. Well, maybe you have chalked certain achievements that have been lost on me. That, too, could be the reality. But let me speak of what I have seen since you took over as boss of the CID, Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah. Your work has left a lot to be desired, which is why I support the calls for your resignation, since I think a dismissal, as Mr. Kofi Bentil of IMANI together with some others have called for, might be worse for you than just walking away on your own volition.

Not too long after your appointment as CID boss, there was the A-Plus doctored tape incident. I say doctored tape because that was your claim at the time - that for some reason, the voice we heard on that tape, which sounded very much like yours, was not actually yours. I do understand that technological advancements have made determining the authenticity of some such recordings a very tricky affair, but one thing is certain: that entire saga did your reputation no good!

For many Ghanaians, especially the families of the Takoradi girls kidnapped now for as many as 9 months, in some cases, you have been no more than a dispenser of false hope - you have failed to produce the girls!

Your rhetoric on the post of IGP, too, is rather unfortunate; before you, I had never heard any person, even those properly positioned for the job, making the sort of self-glorifying utterances I have heard you make in recent times.

My question is, after all these miscalculations and missteps - after all these gaffes and hope-mongering fiascos, why would you even try now to draw more ire toward yourself by positioning yourself for the position of the Inspector General of Police? That, for me, is the last straw, and I am, looking at the flow of events, of the opinion that you should not be made IGP, for the qualification for that post does not have merely to do with certificates or the general call for gender balance in the selection of personnel for that office. No. I think experience, professionalism, effectiveness and efficiency, neutrality, trust and even more importantly, the support of the generality of the people, including those who would have served under you, should you have become IGP, are imperative. You do have good experience, Tiwaa Addo Danquah; but so do your compatriots - including very competent women - and some, much more than you! For all the other areas: professionalism, effectiveness and efficiency, neutrality, trust and the support of the masses, I honestly find you flailing badly. These are the reasons I proffer to you that you do yourself a favour and banish any thoughts of further positioning yourself or lobbying, if that even applies, for the very sensitive position of IGP. In addition to that, I would also humbly suggest that, looking at the ire you have drawn from ordinary Ghanaians, the mistrust you have stoked and your failure to produce our Takoradi girls, you resign from your post and enjoy what little is left of the solid reputation you once had. Your credibility, Madam, has dwindled to an all-time low. As that country singer, Kenny Rogers, sings in his famous song, 'The Gambler,' 'You've got to know when to walk away and know when to run.'

I am sure you recall, Madam Tiwaa Addo Danquah, the shooting in Ferguson in 2015? Well, guess what? Just for that, the police chief in Ferguson, Missouri, resigned shortly afterward. Tom Jackson, the police chief then, was neither pushed out nor fired. Protesters called for his removal as a result of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager. And guess what? He reacted. Having assessed the situation, Tom Jackson indicated his readiness to step down.

Just last year, Madam CID boss, Baltimore Police Department’s head since 2015, T. J. Smith, resigned over city violence in reaction to a public distrustful of the agency as a whole, which he had led. Looking at your poor showing at post, I think, Madam, that you can take a cue from Messrs Jackson and Smith. Do you not think so?

I cannot end this piece without also saluting you for what work you have done for Mother Ghana. I salute you on your achievements, great and small, in the service of the good people of Ghana. The bell, though, has rung on your service, and if you are a true leader, you will listen to the call of the people and bow out when you still have some credibility left. If not, well, only time will tell what result your stubbornness can yield. I speak for the people, and yes, the people have not minced their words. Will you listen to the voice of the people whom you purport to serve, Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah?

I am a citizen, not a spectator. My name is Benjamin Akakpo and this is a piece of my mind.

-The Author is the Host of the Executive Breakfast Show on Class 91.3 FM



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