President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sworn into office Dr George Akuffo Dampare as the substantive Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Dr Dampare, 51, becomes Ghana’s 23rd IGP, being the youngest Police Officer to attain that position.
He was asked by the President, last July, to take over from Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, as Acting IGP, pending the appointment of a substantive one.
At a ceremony at the Jubilee House in Accra, where President Akufo-Addo administered the Oaths of Allegiance, Office, and Secrecy, he congratulated Dr Dampare on his appointment, which he said was “a well-deserved one.”
He said Dr Dampare had, over the last two months, acquitted himself creditably as the Acting IGP and that he (President) had no option than to confirm him as the substantive Police Boss.
“It’s been an eventful two months since his appointment, and the Acting IGP has left me with very little choice in the matter. His actions, which have received widespread support and acclaim from the population, vindicates the decision I made to entrust him with the mandate of managing the police, albeit in a temporary capacity,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said Dr Dampare, who had served the nation dutifully since joining the Police Service, will make an effective leader of the Service and help foster its efficiency.
“He would be walking in the footsteps of the 22 previous occupants of the Office, and I have no doubt that in Dr George Akuffo Dampare, we have a worthy successor to Mr James Oppong-Boanuh and indeed the others who have gone before him.”
The President reminded the IGP of the emerging complex nature of crime and the role of the police in safeguarding the peace, the safety of the people and the preservation of the territorial integrity of the State.
That, he said, would guarantee that citizens went about their normal lives in security and hope to improve the quality of their circumstances.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the most important things for our nation are peace, the safety of its people and the preservation of its territorial integrity…. If these are guaranteed the citizens can go about their normal lives in security and hope to improve on the quality of their circumstances,” he said.
“We all sleep feeling safe when the men and women of the Police Service work to keep our communities and our streets safe.”
President Akufo-Addo assured the IGP and the Police Administration that the Government would do all it could to modernise and resource the Service to enable it to maintain law and order, and protect lives and property.
He said the Government had instituted far-reaching measures to improve the quality of the Police Service and the welfare of police personnel, and: “We will continue to do more in the coming years.”
“I assure you that the Government is determined to give whatever supportive care so that we can have the service that the people of Ghana deserve,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo tasked the IGP to establish a service that maintained the trust of the citizenry.
“It is often said that the public is the police, and the police is the public. The citizenry can only have confidence in the Police Service when its members are seen to be honest and enforce the law without fear or favour,” he said.
“It is in everybody’s interest that the Police Service serve as the principal creditable instrument of accomplishing the executive duty of maintaining law and order in the State.”
The President advised the IGP and the Service as a whole not to tie their well-being to the fortunes of the ruling party of the day.
“As President, together with you as the Inspector General of Police, We need to cooperate to ensure that the Police Service is left to focus on its core mandate and not be an appendage of the ruling party,” he said.
“I envisage the development of a Police Service that goes above its function of protecting ordinary citizens, confident, that there will be no interference from the powers that be.”
“As newly sworn IGP, I believe strongly that in you, we can help promote the development of the nation governed by the rule of law and respect for human rights with the police being at the front line of this endeavor.”
“The police have the primary responsibility of maintaining peace and keeping law and order in our country and government will do its best to assist you and the Police Service to discharge this effectively.”
Dr Dampare thanked the President for the confidence reposed in him and gave the assurance that he would, in collaboration with his colleagues, build a Service “that is better than what it is today.”
“We are poised and focused to attain a world class institution. We will position the Service to be one of the best respected organisations in the country and make it a reference point for Africa and beyond,” he said.
The IGP reminded his colleagues in service of the principle that they would, at a point, become civilians, and that the service they left behind would be the same to look after them when they hit the civil stream.
He, thus, urged them to strive and continue to deliver excellent service in the interest of the nation.