Mafia At Police Headquarters

The Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service on September 13, this year, freaked Ghanaians out with gory mortuary statistics of how 1,323 productive Ghanaians died, between January and August alone, from ghastly road accident. According to a statement that had been signed by ACP Angwubutoge Awuni, Director General of the MTTU, some 9,189 accidents that had occurred, involving some 14,200 vehicles, had canceled enough lives to bring the ratio of fatalities to more than five deaths per day. Unfortunately, even though ACP Awuni had come across as very genuine in the expression of frustration over the statistics, it is The Enquirer’s unpleasant duty to report that the police themselves are a big part of the road accident problem in the country. A whistle blower from the Quartermaster’s Office at the National Police Headquarters in Accra tells of how cars on the country’s roads are free-reined masters on wheels because the police do not have radar speed guns and alcohol meters to keep drivers in check. He also tells of how a ‘mafia’ of sorts is responsible for the unavailability of the speed guns and alcohol meters because somebody wants a cut of $3.2 Million that has been approved by the Finance Ministry for the purchase of the kit. A specific name has not been named but our source was very emphatic that the rogue cops ensuring the inertia in the purchase of the road accident prevention tools were comfortably and arrogantly nestled within the Quartermaster’s circle of operations. It is believed that the mafia around the Quartermaster at the Police Headquarters in Accra has the backing of some people at the Ministry of Interior, who are powerful enough to make the Inspector General Of Police Kiss his own toes. “The IGP knows of this mafia, but has kept quiet because he does not want to burn his fingers,” the source said. According to the revelation, the $3.2 million is enough budget stretch to cover the purchase of some 100, quality speed radar guns, costing $18,000 per gun and a number of alcohol meters, from the United States. The release of the money had been done by the Finance Ministry, after a meeting with the Ghana Road Safety Commission, National Security and the Police MTTU had ended in the agreement that the furnishing of the police with radar speed guns and alcohol meters alone could facilitate the reduction of road accident fatalities by more than 50 percent. Unfortunately however, immediately the Finance ministry released the money, the mafia in the circle in the Circle of operations of the Quartermaster had seen a gold digging opportunity Rather than buying quality speeed guns and alcohol meters from the USA, the mafia has been trying to get the MTTU to rather go for low quality, but cheaper versions from China. As the cheaper versions would cost less than half of the price of the US versions, the mafia is aiming to make quick bucks for themselves and their collaborators at the Interior ministry. Unfortunately for the mafia, the source says, some people at the Police MTTU are incorruptible Ghanaians, all for the national good. The source specifically names ACP Angwubutoge Awuni as one of such people. Outside the Police MTTU, 'The Enquirer' also heard that some big men at the National Road Safety Commission have refused to shortchange the country. These good guys, we are told, have repulsed several attempts to come and dump shoddy Chinese versions of the speed guns and the alcohol meters at the Police MTTU. Comparatively, our source says the Chinese versions of the guns and meters had a lifespan of just one year, while the American versions could last several decades. But while the good guys continue to repulse the bad guys from having their way at the expense of the country, the $3.2 million meant for the purchases sits unused. In the money’s idle state, Ghanaians keep dying like flies in mostly preventable road accidents because a plan by the MTTU to deploy a speed gun wielding police officer at every 10 or 20 kilometers on the country’s roads remains on the drawing board. 'The Enquirer', over the weekend, spoke to one of the guys fighting in the corner of the country. Preferring to remain anonymous, he said, “Most of the road accidents that are occurring and taking lives should be blamed on the ‘mafia.” Ghana has a road safety management chain that consists of the National Road Safety Commission, Ghana Highway Authority, the Department of Urban Roads, the Department of Feeder Roads, the National Ambulance Service, the Ghana Red Cross Society, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority and the Police MTTU. According to a largely functional division of labour in the management chain, the Road Safety Commission is responsible for education on motor traffic safety practices, while Ghana Highways and Feeder Roads is responsible for the road engineering aspects. The Ambulance Service and Red Cross are for post crash emergency services, while the DVLA is responsible for proper driver training and licensing. In the chain, the police are strictly for enforcement of road safety laws. Unfortunately, it has long been estimated that while the rest of the functionality of the road safety management chain is over 80 percent effective, ‘Enforcement’, which is the functional area of the police, is porously weak. Against the backdrop of Ghana’s attempt to achieve a United Nation’s target of reducing road accidents and associated fatalities by, at least, half by 2022, stakeholders assessed that enforcement being weak in the road accident management chain was mainly blamable on the lack of radar speed guns and alcohol meters for the police. It was in line with rectifying this deficiency that a meeting was held between stakeholders, including National Security, the Road Safety Commission, the Police Service and the Finance Ministry for the release of funds towards the purchase of the kits. However, immediately the money was released, the mafia switched into gear and, with the backing of collaborators from the Interior ministry, decided that cheaper versions from China were a guarantee of easy money for themselves. As this story makes whatever read, the battle between the good guys and the bad ones, over the purchase of the implements rages on. Stay tune.