A former flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Brigitte Dzogbenuku, has queried the Inspector General of Police (IGP), over his response to the British Commissioner, following a tweet by the Commissioner.
According to her, the approach of the IGP, Dr George Akuffo-Dampare was synonymous with using a sledge hammer to kill a fly.
Speaking on the news paper review on the AM Show on Thursday, Brigitte Dzogbenuku stated that instead of the IGP’s four-paged letter to the High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, he should have resorted to a more measured approach in expressing his grievances.
“First of all, I didn’t think in my opinion that it was in the place of the IGP to send the response. And I think that they’re addressing that. As of last night, I heard that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Foreign Affairs was going to take it up.
So that was a good idea. That ought to have been done before. The IGP ought to have sent or relayed his message to the High Commissioner through the Foreign Minister. That’s the best way to do it. It was terse. It was like using a sledge hammer on a fly really. Because it was a little tweet. And the response was over the top if you like”, she said.
She added that, the tweet by the British High Commissioner was ambiguous, and not a confrontational comment, as the IGP appeared to have deduced.
In her submissions, Brigitte Dzogbenuku stressed that as a representative of the Queen, the High Commissioner is at liberty to express her views on issues, and therefore it was wrong for the IGP to have reacted in the manner he did; especially when the tweet did not spell any doom or havoc whatsoever.
She also told host, Benjamin Akakpo that she believes that the IGP’s decision to reply in the manner he did could be linked to the gender of the High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson.
On this note, Brigitte Dzogbenuku explained that, the former British High Commissioner, Jon Benjamin and other past diplomats had made stronger remarks on happenings in Ghanaians, and yet they were not responded to in the manner the IGP reacted to Harriet Thompson.
It will be recalled that on May 17 this year, Harriet Thompson tweeted about the arrest of the Convener of the FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor.
In her tweet, she said, “Oliver Barker Vormawor, convener of #FixTheCountry movement, arrested again, I understand for a motoring offence on his way to court. I’ll be interested to see where this goes…”.
This was after the lead convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, was taken to the East Legon Police cells and arraigned before the Madina District Court.
He was charged with careless and inconsiderate driving.
Barker-Vormawor subsequently announced the charge on his personal Facebook page.
But on May 31, a letter from the the Inspector General Police, Dr George Akuffo-Dampare, became the topic for discussion after it was published.
In the letter, the IGP had written to Harriet Thompson to urge her to mind her own business and desist from meddling in the country’s internal affairs. According to him, the High Commissioner’s tweet was in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Affairs.
In a four-page letter signed by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo-Dampare and sighted by JoyNews, the IGP noted that Ms Thompson’s act was unprofessional and seeks to undermine the credence of the Ghana Police Service.
“For the moment we will recommend the Ghanaian saying, that might guide you in your diplomatic engagements. The saying goes ‘Di wo fie asem’ to wit learn to keep within the limits that concerns you”, the letter concluded.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has intervened to mediate the dispute between the IGP and the British High Commissioner.
The Ministry in a press release indicated that it “has noted with concern the intense public debate that has been generated by the communication between the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the British High Commissioner in Accra”.
“In line with the general diplomatic practice of communicating with diplomatic Missions, preferably through direct engagement, the Ministry wishes to remain circumspect on its pronouncements on the matter”, portions of the release stated.
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