A QUESTION WITH NO TAG.
I know this my write-up will cause many police officers who witnessed the GOLDEN DAYS of Mr. Peter Tenaganabang Nanfuri as the Inspector-general of Police to shake their heads in disbelieve and drop some tears for the sad state of our police service including the current IGP himself but I am here to encourage him to leave a mark on the wall before he leaves. He can do it because I have always believed in him. He inherited an accumulated mess that can only be cleared when all police officers get on board with all hands on deck. He being the leader must demonstrate a lot of faith and commitments to the transformation agenda first and all others will follow.
Actually many IGPs have come after Mr. Peter Nanfuri left the reigns of the police service as the Inspector-general of Police some 18 years ago. At least some 7 IGPs have come to pass including Elizabeth Mills-Robertson who acted briefly as the first woman IGP to have ruled the police service but the question has always been, will there be an IGP like Mr. Peter Tenaganabang Nanfuri? Can his achievements be equalled by succeeding IGPs? The rhetorics may be too many but they are actually the right questions to ask to prick and sharpen the conscience of people who matter of police officers to wake up to the task. Looks like things are falling apart and the centre can no longer hold.
APPOINTMENT, SUCCESSION AND PRECISION.
Mr. Peter Nanfuri became IGP on October 1, 1996 just some 11 days to his 53rd birthday. He had then worked with various capacities in the police service including BNI and other directorates. It is judicial notice that police officers who had previously worked with BNI possess some strong leadership traits in the police so it is no surprising that Mr. Peter Nanfuri still stands tall among the IGPs that came before and after him. He succeeded Mr. J. Y Kwofie and was preceded Mr. Ernest Owusu-poku. His reigns as the IGP is referred to as the GOLDEN or GLORIOUS DAYS of the police service. He was appointed by Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings pursuant to article 202(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
PAY OFFICES REFORMS
Prior to the appointment of Mr. Peter Nanfuri as the IGP, police officers were receiving their salaries on table tops. I mean police officers queue at the pay offices across the country to receive their salaries. Many police officers at that time did not even know how much they were receiving at the time. A police officer could travel from his station only to come to the pay office and be told that the paymaster had travelled. Those were the days that police pay office was one of the lucrative offices because paymasters and their staffs were enriching themselves with the sweat of police officers. Immediately Peter Nanfuri became the IGP, he disbanded the table top pay system and had all the police officers at the pay offices across the country investigated. Some were dismissed, a lot more were reduced in rank and all of them were transferred from the pay offices. Many police officers who were stationed at pay offices blamed Mr. Peter Nanfuri for dwindling their fortunes. Some even committed suicide after they were transferred from the pay office.
The old police officers will tell you more if you ask them. I am just a lance corporal.
ATTEMPTS OF RESIGNING OVER DETECTIVE ALLOWANCE FOR FOR ALL POLICE OFFICERS
To Mr. Peter Nanfuri, every police officer is a detective and investigator so quickly he gave 33.5% detective allowance across board. This 33.5% brought a bad blood between him and Nii Okaidja Adamafio because was found constantly trying to interfere in the affairs of the police. To Mr. Peter Nanfuri, either they implement it or her resigns. The minister quickly shut his mouth up and never interfered in the affairs of the police service again.
You will all unanimously agree with me that we are have reached the era where IGPs who feel politicians are interfering in the affairs of the police service and thereby thwarting their efforts resign from the police to protect their own image.
REGULAR SUPPLY OF UNIFORMS, BOOTS AND OTHER ACCOUTREMENT.
Do not talk about uniforms and boots because Mr. Peter Nanfuri tops all. I hope you have heard of Nanfuri shoe and coats? If you haven’t, ask the OPMs. They will tell you what Nanfuri shoes and coats were. They were not only costs and shoes but were of high quality and and standard. Some police officers who witnessed the reigns of Mr. Peter Nanfuri as the IGP still use some of the shoes and coats he supplied them when he was the IGP. During his time, boats, shoes, uniforms, socks, polish, torches, ranks, buttons and everything that the police officer needs to appear neat and smart were in regular supply and in abundance. Supplies were not concentrated in cities and towns as police officers who were serving in the villages received their share of the cake. They were evenly distributed.
In terms of supply of accoutrement, the next IGP that comes after Mr. Peter Nanfuri is Mr. Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong. Do you agree? Soon after that the police service had become a laboratory for testing uniforms by IGPs. Every IGP that came after Mr. Peter Nanfuri brought his own police uniform and colour.
INTOLERANCE TO ATTACK ON POLICE OFFICERS AND POLICE STATIONS.
Mr. Peter Nanfuri hated defeat for police. He doesn’t take that and was very intolerant to attacks on police officers and police stations. He once descended heavily on Akwatia after they attacked some police officers and beat them up. Several other police stations that were attacked during the days of Mr. Peter Nanfuri were either closed down or the police returned with equal force to put fear in them. The older generation of police officers will remember the story of Kofi or Kweku Ninja where some police officers were killed at somewhere Agbogbloshie (not too sure about the location though within Accra). After the police officers were killed, a foundation was quickly dug and a building was raised on them but Mr. Peter Nanfuri being a former detective himself together with other police officers were able to locate where the police officers were buried, exhumed it and had all the perpetrators arrested and brought to book.
If today police stations are being attacked and vandalised with perpetrators walking free on the streets flaunting their muscles, every police officer who saw the days of Mr. Peter Nanfuri will be extremely worried.
CHECKS ON POLITICAL INDISCIPLINE AND POLITICISATION OF THE POLICE.
During the days of Mr. Peter Nanfuri, politicians were politicians and police officers were police officers. Politicians knew their limits and police officers also knew their limits too. They do not crisscross one another. This is a man whom we are told could tell almighty J.J Rawlings to control his ministers else he will have them arrested. If indeed, it is true that Mr. Peter Nanfuri could tell Jerry John Rawlings, the man who appointed him as the IGP to control his ministers else he will have them arrested, then Mr. Peter Nanfuri does not have only “balls” but “balls” that are made of steel that does not get softened by political pressure. I have already talked about Nii Okaidja Adamafio and how Mr. Peter Nanfuri silenced him when he tried to poke his nose into the affairs of the police. There are several other instances.
Today the police service is heavily politicised and those police officers who do not have any political affiliation are easily victimised. Ministers, members of parliament, party functionaries including foot soldiers are deeply involved in the affairs of the police with no one questioning them. The next IGP we are told protected police officers from political intimidations and victimisation is Nana Owusu-Nsia. He is reportedly to have constantly said, “protect the boys from the politicians”
On January 21, 2001, J. A Kufour as the president removed Mr. Peter Nanfuri and replaced him with COP/Mr. Ernest Owusu-poku. He was 58 when he was forced to proceed on retirement. J. A Kufour could not just Mr. Peter Nanfuri after 19 years reign of Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings and considering the role the police play in past coups. He therefore needed to make some strategic changes in the heads of the security services for him to have a firm grip of his government and the country so he retired Mr. Peter Nanfuri in his productive age even though he still has a lot to offer the police service. That was the beginning of political proliferation of the police service and how things started to fall apart in the police.
His later part of administration was marred with the serial killings of women but holistically Mr. Peter Tenaganabang Nanfuri succeeded as an IGP and still remains darling to many police officers who witnessed his tenure of office as the IGP.
LIFE AFTER POLICE SERVICE
On July 23, 2005, Mr. Peter Nanfuri was installed as the 4th paramount chief of Jirapa traditional area with royal title Naa Ansoleh Ganaa II. A position he has occupied till date.
THE POLICE SERVICE AFTER THE DAYS OF MR. PETER NANFURI
Many police officers, both senior and junior ranks will feel nostalgic after reading this write-up of mine and be wondering when did I join the police service to know a lot about Mr. Peter Nanfuri. I am only a police lance corporal who passed out in 2009 but I know a lot about Mr. Peter Nanfuri because he etched his name on plates of gold before he left the reigns of the police service as the Inspector-general of Police.
He wasn’t a perfect human being as some have personal reservations about but he still stands tall when it comes to the welfare of his personnel. Question, has the police service progressed after the days of Mr. Peter Tenaganabang Nanfuri or retrogressed?
This question has no tag but whoever the cup fits let him wear it.
Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III