A former commander of the Ghana Battalion in ECOMOG, Colonel (rtd) Festus Aboagye, says clear guidelines should be given in the handling of arms by Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) officers.
He opined that the recent directive by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) will rather increase the shooting of innocent citizens.
He was speaking on TV3’s The Key Points on Saturday, August 31.
IGP James Oppong-Boanuh gave the directive on Thursday after visiting families of two police officers killed in the line of duty by suspected armed robbers.
The officers were killed after a confrontation with suspected robbers driving an unregistered Toyota Camry at Gomoa Buduburam in Kasoa.
The officers were unarmed as per the rules of engagement of the MTTD.
But the IGP’s directive seems to have ruffled some feathers and some citizens have expressed misgivings about it.
A security analyst, Colonel (rtd) Aboagye advised the IGP to issue further directives on the rules of engagement of these officers regarding the state of the weapons, how it will be carried and even the circumstances under which it would be fired.
He also called for strict measures regarding persons with registered guns.
“Anybody who bears arms must be classified every year,” he suggested.
To him, “it is something that must be done”.
“You must not compromise on it.”
The killing of the two officers have called into question in-service training for the law enforcers.
Some officers are said to as yet receive any training after the six-month session they receive prior to enlistment into the Service.
According to a former Director-General of Joint Operations for the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier General Daniel Mishio, who was also on the programme, there should be further training periodically for the officers.
On IGP’s directive, Brigadier-General Mishio called for “threat analysis” of the situation before the directive is implemented.
He said without knowing what the threats are, it will be useless for the police officer if they do not know what the weapons must be used specifically for.
He expressed fears that if such an exercise is not carried out, innocent citizens may rather suffer.
“So, I will suggest that the police do proper threat analysis on all operations they do, so that they know whether the MTTD has to be armed or not.”