Inspector General of Police (IGP)- Mr. John Kudalor, May
Obiri-Yeboah- National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).
What, Why, When
In a leaked memo which has been reported on various media
platforms, the police chief ordered an end to on-road documentation
checks by the "men in black". According to the leaked
memo, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor, has
determined that the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD)
of the Ghana Police Service are to be "used only for traffic
management duties." The police administration is yet to deny
or confirm the above report.
Traffic: News reports of the memo are
widely reported on Ghana's airwaves and online media. Although
accounts of the memo do not include any clear justification or
description of the motivation, arguments in favour have tended to
rest on the belief that by reducing the number of stoppages by
policy the policy would alleviate traffic bottlenecks in the urban
centres e.g. Accra (Spintex road, Circle, Ofankor, Dansoman) and
Kumasi (Sofoline, Santasi, Tafo).
Elections: The directive does not
appear to be directly motivated by preparations for the scheduled 7
December general elections. IGP Kudalor will later this week meet
with Election Management Committee to map out security strategies
to safeguard the country's peace before, during and after the
Clashes: That said, there have been recent
clashes between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New
Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters in Ajumako-Besease in Central
Region, Wa in Upper West, Tamale in the Northern region etc.
Despite the lack of an official statement, sharp criticism has
been voiced by key stakeholders. May Obiri-Yeboah, the Executive
Director of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), has said
the decision is "a big blow and I am afraid it will lead to
more accidents". The response came at the back of the number
of road accident deaths recorded this year – 1500 at close of
An official statement from the police is likely to be released
addressing the leaked memo directly or perhaps indirectly e.g.
following the IGP-Election Management Committee meeting. That said,
assuming the policy is confirmed, its impact on traffic bottlenecks
will likely be muted – more so than bureaucracy, historic
growth in passenger numbers and inadequate capacity on trunk roads
are more prominent causes of blockagesii.
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