In light of concerns of excessive military presence in civilian areas, the Interior Minister-nominee, Ambrose Dery, has said the police are now largely capable of operating without army support.
“The police are competent and adequately motivated and resourced. We do not need the army,” he said during his vetting on Tuesday.
Mr. Dery admitted that when he started serving as Interior Minister in the first term of the Akufo-Addo administration, police “needed the army from time to time which has led to joint operations.”
He cited the military support in dealing with Fulani herdsmen tensions in areas like Agogo and the policing of illegal mining.
But now, Mr. Dery indicated that “as we build the capacity of the police, we will be increasingly be phasing out the army.”
Aside from this, he assured that police have always been the lead agency when it comes to policing.
“That is why in galamsey, the military has now withdrawn, and it has been left for the police.”
Moving forward, he added that there were still capacity challenges the police needed to address.
“I expect that Parliament will continue to support the efforts to resource the security agencies and police and yes, I agree, we should let the soldiers go back and play their traditional role.”
Contrasting comments from National Security Minister-nominee
The issue of the army being used as personal protection for individuals did not come up but in a previous vetting, the National Security Minister-nominee, Albert Kan Dapaah, justified the increased military role in this regard.
When asked why police could not be relied on to offer such security support, Mr. Kan Dapaah said the police lacked adequate resources.
“Clearly, the Ghana Police Service and the other security agencies; in terms of equipment, in terms of men, they, have never had the full complement of what it takes to provide the most effective policing,” he said.