Today, I wish to celebrate one of Ghana's finest public servants – IGP George Dampare, a fine gentleman and a man of indisputable foresight, a truly transformational leader with clarity of foremost service to mother Ghana.
I have known him since his days as a DCOP. He was down to earth and never carried a chip on his shoulder when we met. Conversations with him were focused and clear, and he held an attitude to listen and learn where he knew less. He never hesitated to share that, which he knew in a very gentle manner. He was a big man who never carried his bigness around.
It was exciting to hear he had been appointed IGP. I told many that if this is still the same Dampare I had met, then this must be one of the most meritocratic and non-political decisions H.E. NADAA will ever make.
As a friend of politicians from both sides, I could hear grumblings from the extremists and hopefulness from the moderates of both parties after his appointment.
Fast forward, and we get to the Assin North by-election. Former and present Ministers with whom I debated reached out and remarked, "Senyo, you were right, the guy is very organised and professional."
You can imagine the 'I told you so’ grin on my face.
Dampare was at it again when the tensions escalated during our Anti-DDE campaign, and our MEGA picketing
dubbed Occupy MoF was set to take off. Many had travelled from far away, including members from Bolgatanga.
It was almost midnight on the eve of the MEGA picketing when he called and said: "My brother, please, we need to de-escalate this. My men are on standby to provide the required protection, but I'll opt to prevent rather than contain. Please tell me your issues, and let me do my all to facilitate its resolution.”
A series of midnight meetings and calls followed and the picketing was called off. We met with the entire leadership thereafter in the morning to set up more channels to prevent social tensions from my group.
We toured the police and CID headquarters that had previously been somewhat of a market. The greenery, organisation, orderliness, and absence of clatter looked like a miracle to me. The initiatives being led by IGP Dampare and his team to bring policing to the public excited me. I was impressed by the Police TV, decentralisation of criminal reports, the Police shop, and police visibility projects designed to bring policing closer to the people.
As we get closer to the election of 2024, the professionalism of and confidence in the police will be extremely critical to maintaining the peace and success of our democracy. I am confident in the leadership of Dampare and his team.
There are many reforms still required to make policing in Ghana contemporary, but clearly, we have a leader with a vision in motion.
To the political lunatics, on campaign platforms, or in uniform, I have this for you: You own not Ghana, and Ghana is bigger than your greedy, narrow-mindedness. As the Ashantis say, “Onipa ye adiaa, ose ayeyi. Se wo enyi na ye aa, ensei ni din.” Translated: “When someone does well, he deserves to be praised. If you will not praise him, don’t destroy his name.”
Dampare is doing great. If you can’t applaud or support him, then at least, don’t stand in his way.