The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson is surprised at a four-page response from the Ghana Police Service following her tweet on the arrest of Oliver Barker-Vormawor, a Convener of FixTheCountry Movement.
The statement which has been described as “harsh and strong-worded” asked the British High Commissioner to “keep within the limits of what concerns her”
“Ordinarily, the Ghana Police Service would not have responded to comments such as yours, obviously made from either a biased or uninformed position. However, we have learnt from previous, painful experience that it has not been helpful to ignore such misguided, unwarranted and biased comments intended to tarnish the reputation of the Ghana Police Service and that of our country” the statement signed by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare indicated.
“For the moment, we would recommend a Ghanaian saying that might guide you in your diplomatic engagements. The saying goes: ‘di wo fie asem’ – it means learn to keep within the limits of what concerns you,” the statement added.
Speaking on Accra-based television station, GHOne, Madam Thompson said: “To me, it feels like a stretch. It feels like me saying I am interested in something is a long way from people saying we must take to the streets”.
“It is clear from the reaction that it has not been received in the way that it was intended. I wasn’t expecting a response from the IGP at all…commenting on something that is of great interest to a lot of people in a country is not interfering in the affairs of that country. There are other articles of the Vienna Convention that could be relevant in this case.”
She is, however, “looking forward to move beyond this incident and continuing to work with the Ghanaian police force as well as the very many other institutions that we enjoy very good relationships with.”
Meanwhile, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described as “regrettable and misguided” a letter from the Ghana Police Service to the British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson.
According to the party, the IGP “should have raised his concerns about the British High Commissioner’s tweet on Oliver Barker-Vormawor’s latest arrest with Ghana’s Foreign Minister through the Minister for the Interior for it to be addressed via the usual diplomatic channels”.
“The IGP’s regrettable and misguided letter has the tendency of jeopardising the enviable cordial bilateral relations between Ghana and Britain. Ghana and the UK have shared strong friendly bilateral relations and official communications must avoid tones and language which are considerably discourteous, offensive and needlessly provocative,” the statement signed by Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of NDC .
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