Home OPINIONS Police/Military clash in Tamale-Facts of the matter.
1. Police inferiority complex. 2. Police couldn’t discharge a simple duty in Tamale without military assistance. 3. Loss of credibility by police. 4. Institutions in Tamale relying more on the military than the police. 5. Commendation to the military by Regional Security Council and other stakeholders. etc.
Remote cause of tension- a few weeks back, a police man was found wearing military uniform at a police barrier. He was compelled to remove it by military patrol team that took him to his house to change…this didn’t go down well with the police. A few weeks later a soldier who had gone to town with the wife and children in his car pulled over on seeing a convoy from the opposite direction because the road was narrow. Two men in brown khaki overall shouted at him to move but he refused. One slapped him on neck and removed his car keys…he chased the man and also slapped him but the fellow fled. So he went to the police station to lodge a complaint..apparently the two men were police officers from police mechanical shop. So they(15 of them) put pepper spray in his eyes..held his legs and hands behind him and beat him mercilessly with weapon butts… helmets etc…(he is now having left ear and right eye impairment )..the police claimed they didn’t know he was a soldier…but this could not be true because the same soldier had on several occasions led some those who assaulted him on night joint patrols and also had his name and rank on his car key they had seized. Two or four military personnel initiated the military “buddy system ” to avenge the beating of their superior and beat some police men in town.
Now facts of the current case- a soldier has a taxi driven by a civilian who wasn’t making proper accounts..so he took the car from him and also seized the driver’s motorbike in lieu of moneys not accounted for…he insulted the soldier and they fought .the driver reported to the police who invented the soldier for investigation. The soldier insisted that the police should initiate the process laid down for inviting a military personnel to the police station(the framers of this process/regulation knew there could be problem such as this if the process is not followed..hence the regulation). Indeed, the police initiated the process by writing to the soldier’s commander…per the regulations an officer was assigned to accompany the soldier to the police station…they had been at the police station on several days upon police invitation…but he went to the police station alone upon invitation because the officer was not available..the police decided to lock him in cells..the police action truncated the process supra. So the soldier insisted on his right and freed himself..they chased him by shouting he was armed robber…civilians helped police arrest him..handcuffed him and beat him from the point of arrest all the way to the police station…soldiers already working in town heard it ..went to the police station and rescued him back to where they working. Police reinforcement arrived there to use force to take the soldier back to cells. …nasty scene as gun shorts were exchanged ..news got to the barracks and spontaneously buddy system triggered…..Police had to desert town and run to their barracks..the situation was very unfortunate and could have been prevented if the police had not truncated the process…in any case prior to the incident the soldier had been charged for fighting with his driver long before the police invitation…my take is that it’s not for nothing that the framers of the rules regulating military/Police relationship came out with such processes…non observance of it will always leave us in this situation