In the last two days, the name Dampare has been trending in both mainstream and social media.
This follows public conversations about the content of a leaked audio recording that reveals a plot against the current Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr. George Akuffo Dampare.
The recording features a voice that is said to be that of a Commissioner of police in a conversation with a senior member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The leaked tape mainly features discussion on why the current IGP must be sacked. In the conversation, the senior police officer accuses the IGP of many things and says the NPP cannot win the 2024 elections with Dampare as IGP.
It is not surprising to hear that a top police officer is against an IGP for one reason or the another.
The current exposé, however, reveals a rather bizarre and dirty plot against the IGP and also provides credence to ongoing speculations about some clandestine attempts to seek the removal of Dr. Dampare as IGP.
All the machinations and plots are meant to achieve one thing – convince the President to sack the IGP.
Even though it is difficult to read the mind and intention of the President, for once, I am convinced that President Akufo-Addo, will not fall for the dirty plots.
My convictions are based on the following firm predictions and reasons:
First of all, I can predict that President Nana Akufo-Addo will not want to go down in history as the President who presided over the annihilation of Ghana’s most priced asset, which is our peace and stability.
Secondly, I believe that President Nana Akufo-Addo will not want to go down in history as the President under whose tenure Ghana’s long march to democratic consolidation was curtailed.
Thirdly, I have some conviction that President Akufo-Addo will not want to go down in history as the President under whose reign civil war erupted in Ghana as a result of some desperate attempts to impose his political party on the people of Ghana even if the people choose to reject his party in the 2024 elections.
Finally, I can confidently predict that President Akufo-Addo knows very well that if the NDC, under the very charismatic and brave Jerry John Rawlings, lost the 2000 elections and handed over power peacefully to the NPP’s John Agyekum Kufuor, then the will of the Ghanaian people will always reign supreme.
It is on the basis of these convictions that I have no doubts that President Akufo-Addo will not heed to any orchestrations and sinister plots to remove the man who has proven to be exactly the one he needs to protect and preserve Ghana’s most valued asset – peace and stability.
Certainly, the President should want to hand over Ghana to whoever emerges winner of the 2024 elections in peace and not in pieces.
It is unwise for anyone to assume that President Akufo-Addo does not know that what he needs the most to govern the country is not political sycophancy but internal security of the state, which Dr. Dampare is admirably helping him to have.
Also, anyone who assumes the President will be naive to remove Dr. Dampare must be someone who doesn’t follow the President’s pronouncement about his appreciation of the performance of the IGP or someone who simply disregards what the President says as useless commentary.
This is because, IGP Dampare has received praises and commendations from the President more than any other appointee.
The President appointed Dr. Dampare as acting IGP in July 2021. In September, 2021, the President publicly praised him and stated that he (the IGP) had vindicated his decision to appoint him as IGP.
In early October, 2021, the President confirmed Dr. Dampare as the substantive IGP and commended him for his great works during the few months he acted as IGP. Later that same month, during the swearing-in of the Police Council, the President again praised the IGP saying: “the IGP’s actions thus far, have received the strong backing of Ghanaians and many are now realizing that if you fall foul of the laws of the land you will not be spared.”
In March 2022, during the presentation of the statement on the State of the Nation (SONA) in Parliament, President Akufo-Addo singled out the IGP for praise. Here is what the President said on that auspicious occasion: “Mr. Speaker, I believe we can all testify that our Police Service is undergoing a great improvement and a change of image before our very eyes.
During times of anxiety, we need a responsive police service to boost the confidence of the population and it is good to see the police rise up to the challenge. The police service is gradually regaining the trust and confidence of the public, under the leadership of its new IGP.”
In February 2023, President Akufo-Addo continued with his praises for the IGP. Here is what the he said about the leadership and performance of the IGP: “We see the discipline that has been restored to our roads, the enhanced police visibility and general discipline in society under the leadership of the IGP Dr. Akuffo Dampare. I want to assure him that he has my full support and the support of my government to continue his transformation of the police service.”
And just a few months later, in April 2023 the President said: “I want to commend the outstanding Inspector General of Police and his team for the deployment of officers across the country for the Easter festivities. Your officers could be seen everywhere in our streets smartly dressed on their motto bikes and on our roads all in the bid to protect the people.”
So why would anyone think that the President can be praising the IGP all the time and suddenly turn around to remove him just to satisfy some sycophants under the false pretext that an IGP can help a party rig or win elections.
In fact, the conspirators against the IGP ought to have also known that having contested for President for four consecutive times, President Akufo-Addo, knows very well that what is needed to win an election is super performance and quality of message, and not a malleable, unprofessional, sycophantic and an overtly partisan IGP. Such an IGP can only bring about lawlessness, chaos, insecurity and instability.
The President knows very well that President John Agyekum Kufuor won the 2000 elections not because the then IGP, Mr. Peter Tenganabang Nanfuri, was an NPP member or appointed by candidate Kufuor. Peter Nanfuri was appointed by former President Jerry Rawlings of the NDC. Yet the NPP won the 2000 elections.
President Akufo-Addo knows very well that he lost the 2008 election not because IGP Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, was an NDC member or appointee. He was appointed by President Kufuor, yet the NPP lost the 2008 elections.
The President is also fully aware that he won the 2016 elections by a landslide against the then incumbent, John Dramani Mahama, not because the then IGP, Mr. John Kudalor, was an NPP member or appointee. Mr. Kudalor was appointed as IGP by his competitor, President John Mahama on February 19, 2016 (the year of the elections), yet he, Nana Akufo-Addo, won that election with over one million votes.
So certainly, the President knows that an IGP neither conducts elections nor collate results. The President knows that an IGP does not assign police officers as party agents or polling station officers. In the context of elections, the IGP’s job is to professionally lead the police to ensure peace, law and order as was exemplified by IGP Dampare in the recent Kumawu and Assin North by-elections.
From the foregoing, I also find the reaction of the opposition NDC to the ongoing brouhaha about IGP and elections, quite strange. This is because, I believe NDC officials will also know, or at least should know, that President Mills did not lose the 2000 elections to John Kufuor because of an NPP-affiliated IGP.
It must also be clear to the NDC that President Mills did not win the 2008 elections because there was an NDC-affiliated IGP at the time. Of course, the NDC also knows that it did not lose the 2016 elections and the 2020 Presidential elections because of the conduct of an IGP.
So, it is, therefore, baseless for senior members of the NDC to be saying that they will resist any attempt to remove IGP Dampare in order for the NPP to rig the 2024 elections.
It may be worth reminding the NDC that, an IGP does not collate results. An IGP does not gather pink sheets for a party. An IGP does not appoint who represents the party at the strong room of the Electoral Commission (EC) during collation of results at the national level. An IGP cannot also prevent a party agent at the EC’s strong room from focusing on having tea with the EC chairperson, instead of remaining vigilant in the results collation process.
I can understand the NDC’s defence of Dr. Dampare for his exceptional professionalism and leadership as IGP, but that should be done devoid of the needless partisanship and the false elections-rigging conspiracy theories.
It is not for nothing that for the first time, we are witnessing an overwhelming public support for an IGP. The Ghanaian people know true leadership, when they see and experience one. For once, let’s leave the partisanship and hatred and support Dr. George Akuffo Dampare to continue with his exceptional effort and leadership to build the Ghana Police Service we want and deserve as a nation.
By Sulemana Braimah
The writer is the Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)