Today is exactly the tenth day into the 14 days lockdown directive issued by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in some parts of the country as part of measures in containing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Health workers have expressed agitation due to inadequate supply of PPEs to aid their work as frontline staff and the latest to express dissatisfaction are police personnel assigned to ensure civilians adhere to the lockdown directives.
A member of the police service who spoke anonymously to GhanaWeb in an exclusive interview disclosed that the welfare of the police personnel is being taken for granted.
The source who is part of the joint security operation on the ground disclosed that their colleague military personnel are "being taken care of better than the police" and this clearly shows how their senior management "does not put them first" in all decisions.
Accomodation and transportaion
Touching on accommodation, the source told GhanaWeb that while all military personnel assigned for this partial lockdown have been camped at an undisclosed location, members of the Ghana Police Service move from their homes to work daily.
The purpose of the military camp, according to the source, is to protect families of the military personnel who are at risk of contracting the deadly coronavirus in the course of their work.
“The difference between the police and the military is that the military personnel are camped at an unknown location, they don’t pay for transportation when coming to work. Because they are camped, they move in their vehicles to work and go back to the camp when work is over. They are not allowed to go into their families, the reason is you might contact the virus while at post. You cannot go and infect your families, which is a very fair decision,” the source reiterated.
On the mode of transportation, the source explained that the military personnel are conveyed directly to and from their camp base to their locations in their special vans. The case of the police is different, members are supposed to catch their buses only at vantage points.
The source added that their senior officers in higher ranks did not take into consideration the location of personnel who come from very remote areas. Citing examples, the source explained, “Unlike them, the police is different, it doesn’t matter where you stay. All you need to do is to come to work and go back home. If you contract the virus, you are running at a risk of also passing it on to your family. Which is not fair.
"Even with transportation, because it’s a partial lockdown and most trotro drivers and taxis are finding it difficult getting passengers, you know what happens. A lot of these police personnel are coming from afar Dodowa, Kasoa, etc. Even in those areas, they have to walk for a distance to the stations before they can get cars. They say they are providing cars at vantage points, let’s look at members coming from Dodowa, their bus is at Adenta, which is very far from Dodowa. Depending on how they get transport to join the Adenta bus. Members at Kasoa board the bus at the toll booth area, which is also far from the Kasoa town, if you don’t get to the toll booth on time to catch the bus, then you will be running a big risk,” the source explained.
The source who sounded very disappointed in the higher ranks could not understand how they came to a decision of withholding the little GHC100 ration promised to them.
“All these have not been considered, all expenses were not considered. Then later, they are telling us that a day's ration, one pack of food is equivalent to GHC100. That is the problem, the police are facing now.”
Currently, 5,900 police officers have been deployed in Accra, Tema and Kasoa while 2500 officers are in Kumasi, bringing the figures to 8400 personnel for the operation.
Local reports indicated that GHc100 ration was converted into food because officers operating under the Greater Accra region were paid the first two days of Ghc100 each but when the Police administration later realized that they needed to draft more men, they had to convert the cash ration to meal to cover everybody since government was not releasing additional money, Daily Guide reported.
However, an earlier statement by the police indicated that it decided to serve personnel meals to avoid the situation where officers deployed to ensure the public complied with the lockdown directives do not leave their posts in search of food.
“The Police Administration has monitored reports about ration provided for its officers deployed to enforce restrictions on movement and wishes to state that the administration has made a policy to serve food to its officers based on the following reasons: to avoid the situation where police officers would roam in this critical time, leaving their duty points to search for food, water or soft drink,” the statement signed by Supt. Sheila Kessie Abayie-Buckman, Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, said.
Lunch City is catering for the officers in Accra, providing them three meals per day with two bottles of water and a drink, reports indicated.