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 December polls.
- 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 Septemberi.
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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