A former head of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service, retired Commissioner Of Police Bright Oduro has cast doubts over the ability of any current female police officer to handle the affairs of the Ghana Police Service today, ABC News Ghana can report.
According to COP (rtd) Bright Oduro, the role of the Inspector General of Police comes with a lot of responsibilities as well as extreme pressure, things he believes requires a certain kind of mettle for the occupant of the office.
He suggests that the ethical and professional challenges confronting the force will be an uphill task that will require a leader who can stamp his foot firmly, a situation he’s not convinced a woman Cana effectively handle at this point in time.
His view comes on the back of reported intense lobbying that has engulfed the Ghana Police Service as the tenure of the current IGP comes to an end in August this year.
The current Inspector General of Police, David Asante Apeatu was appointed by President Akufo-Addo in 2017. He was given a two-year contract to act in the capacity since he was due for retirement at the time of his appointment.
As the discussions begin on who his successor may be, COP Bright Oduro (rtd) is convinced that the time may not be right for the appointment of the first-ever female IGP of the country.
“We haven’t had a situation where a police has led the police service and I think the same thing has applied to the IGP. The police job is a very sensitive one and it comes with a lot of responsibilities and pressure, pressure, pressure. For now, I think it is not time for a woman to head the police service. With all the challenges that we all see, I don’t think a woman can stand up to too much pressure. Maybe it is not time for a woman to be” the former CID boss said in an interview monitored by ABC News Ghana.
“An IGP is somebody who should be seen to be very firm but fair. A listening IGP, who is operational minded, who has the experience in policing issues, and who can restore the confidence that the public has in the police,” COP Bright Oduro (rtd) added.
There are about ten Senior Commissioners of Police who qualify to be appointed IGP. Five of the number are already due for retirement in the next few months.
The only woman among them is Director of Police Intelligence and Professional Standards (PIPS) Bureau head, COP Beatrice Vib-Sanziri who was promoted to her current rank in August 2016 but is counting her days to retirement.
Also qualified to be chosen though not at the level of senior Commissioner of Police is CID boss Maame Yaa Tiwa Addo-Danquah who was recently promoted from Deputy COP to a COP.
However, providing clarity on who qualifies to be IGP, the former CID boss noted that anyone from the role of Deputy Commissioner of Police can be chosen to be IGP.
He insists it is expertise, experience, skills and knowledge of the likely candidate that will make him suitable for the role.
“I don’t think that is relevant enough. Once the person has risen up to the rank of Commissioner, I think he is deemed to be an experienced officer who can be chosen to be an IGP. It all depends on the appointing authority and who he wants to be IGP,” he said in the interview.
ABC News Ghana cites him as saying “If you are a deputy commissioner and above, you can be picked and chosen as IGP. It has happened before. Nana Owusu Nsiah was Deputy Commissioner when he was appointed ahead of Commissioners to become IGP in 2005. Mr J. W. Kwofie was also deputy Commissioner when he was also made IGP ahead of some commissioners.”