When the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander declared war on land guards there were snide smiles on our faces. We thought it was a déjà-vu affair many of his previous predecessors having served similar notices of intention to fight criminals of which land guards are anyway.
Indeed we even said that it is no news when the Police say they are going to fight crime because after all that is their statutory function. If they do not do it who else should?
It won’t be fair on our part not to follow developments, if there are, in the area of restoring sanity in land matters in the Greater Accra Region against the backdrop of the declaration by the new regional commander.
Here is to announce therefore that since the announcement about a war against land guards and in the light of the President’s interest in the subject, we have observed sincere moves against the hoodlums who have made land acquisition a rather challenging transaction in the Greater Accra Region.
DCOP/Mr. George Alex Mensah has left us in no doubt that the war against land guards has taken off. It is a war laden with land mines along the way and so he must be wary of this as he leads his men onto the field.
The criminals have started taking cover and the brazenness with which they went about the criminal occupation has given way to fear and panic among their ranks.
With about 50 arrests made so far and still counting, we think that if the momentum is maintained and innovations infused into the war, things would change.
The Regional Commander’s resolve, as we pointed out earlier, may not be in doubt not so, however, if the commanders and men on the ground are those who can easily be compromised unless the template is changed.
We ask that a special auditing of law enforcement officers deployed to the land guard frontline be periodically carried out to find out those of them who have been compromised so the necessary weeding process is undertaken to protect the integrity of the war.
After being on the frontline for long, there is a possibility of these personnel becoming corrupt – the temptation to say no to money offers becoming too difficult for most of them.
Will it be too difficult to find out details of serving superior officers whose compromising positions, when they held important command posts, facilitated the growth of the land guard industry?
They are many whose ownership of large sways of land says it all about how badly they performed in the positions they were put in.
The land guards can mention their names because they derived their seeming invincibility from them.
There are many bad and corrupt chiefs who provide the necessary ingredients to oil the land guard industry. Let him therefore turn his attention to these bad chiefs and to deal with them according to the law should they be found wanting.
The land guard industry is big and would require an inter-departmental approach. That was why we called for the establishment of such a committee made of representations from the relevant departments.
We wish the regional commander Godspeed.