The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ms. Josephine Nkrumah, has urged the Ghana Police Service to constantly provide the public with updates on investigations into the recent killings in order not to lose public confidence in its ability to resolve those murders.
According to her, while appreciating the fact that sometimes with investigations of that nature, there was the need to remain confidential, there was also a corresponding need to keep the public abreast of some developments in order to indicate that it was on top of the situation.
“While we appreciate that sometimes with investigations, it is not everything that they can put out in the public domain, but at least bits and pieces of information that allay the fears of Ghanaians that these murders are not going on without any resolution is necessary,” she pointed out.
Ms. Nkrumah, who said this in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said as a country, it was necessary to ensure that Ghanaians lived in peace, harmony and in an atmosphere that was devoid of fear saying that notwithstanding, the recent spate of gruesome killings had put some measure of fear into Ghanaians.
For that matter, “we need to understand what the police are doing basically for Ghanaians to have the confidence in them that they are up to the task of unraveling these gruesome acts and able to bring the perpetrators to book.”
She said largely, Ghana had been seen as a safe haven in sub-Sahara Africa and for that matter, the way the police approached the investigations into the deaths would go to either detract or add to the country’s democratic credentials and so it was proper that they were handled in a manner that would not impact negatively on the image of the country.
Ms. Nkrumah was of the view that there had been a bit of a communication gap with regards to the provision of timely information by the police to the public probably because they were on a certain trail and therefore it was better that they kept certain matters confidential “but at least something that comes from the Police to make Ghanaians understand that they are on top of the situation and I think that is very essential for all”.
That, according to her, would go a long way to put people’s minds at ease knowing that the Police were on top of the situation and that would also go a long way to prevent the public from feeding on speculations and rumours.
While commiserating with the grieving families, she noted that the killing of Ahmed Suale Hussein was so brazen and stressed the need to have certain systems in place that were capable of picking on such things in a timely manner.
Going forward, she advised that Ghanaians needed to be more vigilant in their surroundings saying if they became more observant, they would be able to pick on some of these things in a timely fashion and that would also help the police to carry out their work.
“The citizens must be a lot more vigilant and pick on strange persons and occurrences and quickly alert the police and that will give true meaning to the nature of the relationship that should exist between the citizenry and the police in ensuring the security of the nation,” she added.
Commenting on the work that had been done by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, and his Tiger Eye P.I., she said what they had done was significant and showed that investigative journalism had a direct correlation to fighting corruption in the country and, therefore, there was the need to do everything to encourage that kind of journalism in further entrenching democracy.
“If we don’t do that and we do not find a resolution to what happened to the gentleman, it will undermine democracy and investigative journalism for that matter because journalists who had hitherto practiced investigative journalism may see this as a threat to their lives and may, therefore, take a backbench position,” she observed.
According to her, if Ghanaians appreciated the fact that corruption undermined democracy and understood the very significant role that the deceased, Suale Hussein and his team made in the last few years by consistently unearthing a lot of rot in some public institutions, then it would remain obvious that investigative journalism was key to bringing corrupt acts to light and thereby engineering the necessary reforms that must take place as a nation.
“Investigative journalists should not be daunted,” she said but “remain resolute knowing that their work is promoting the fight against corruption.”
Story by: Victor Kwawukume of Daily Graphic