President John Dramani Mahama has charged the police to co-operate with the transport organisations to check the growing indiscipline and lawlessness on the roads.
Swearing in the new Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr John Kudalor, at the Flagstaff House Friday, the President devoted his five-minute speech mainly to road accidents, which he said were taking away precious lives.
President Mahama told the IGP that he was assuming office at a very sad time of the nation when 60 lives had been lost in “a dastardly accident” on the Kintampo-Tamale road.
“Many people are losing their lives because of reckless driving,” he told the IGP, adding that it was unacceptable that Ghana’s road fatality was one of the highest in the sub-region.
Mr Kudalor was confirmed after acting as IGP for about three months.
In November 2015, President Mahama appointed him in an acting position to succeed Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan.
At yesterday’s ceremony, Mr Kudalor swore three oaths – allegiance, official and secrecy – administered by the President to confirm him as substantive IGP.
By his position, Mr Kudalor becomes a member of the Police Council and the National Security Council.
President Mahama attributed many of the accidents in the country to driver error and technical faults with vehicles.
“Maintenance of vehicles these days leaves much to be desired,” he stated.
Commenting on the latest accident, the President said, “I know you are still investigating but there are all kinds of rumours which include brake failure and all that.”
He, however, commended the police for the prompt action they took in rescuing the other victims.
President Mahama promised that the government would do everything to assist the injured to recover, indicating that already their medical bills were being taken care of.
“We will see how to ease the pains of the families,” the President said.
President Mahama also touched on the near disaster on the Yeji crossing of the Volta Lake last wednesday.
“We believe that we should take a view about the safety of our ferries but we also understand that the low level of the lake makes it more dangerous for ferry crossing,” he stressed.
He expressed the hope that when the rains set in, safety would improve on the lake.
Nonetheless, the President said new ferries would be deployed immediately to ensure the safety of the people who crossed the river.
While congratulating Mr Kudalor on his appointment, the President expressed the hope that he would rise up to the task ahead of him.
He said maintaining peace in the election year and raising the morale of the police were some of the tasks ahead of the IGP.
“In an election year, there is a lot of anxiety,” the President said, and expressed the hope that based on the track record of the police and other security services, they would discharge their duties professionally so that Ghana would once again have a successful election.
Mr Kudalor thanked the President for the confidence reposed in him and promised that he and his team would rise to the occasion.
He said the police had no excuse to fail the nation during the elections, adding, “we have already hit the ground running”.
Reacting to President Mahama’s concern over road accidents, Mr Kudalor admitted that there was a lot of work to be done on the roads to curb accidents.
He said the police would ensure that the right things were done. He also urged passengers to report drivers who misbehaved on the roads to the police.
Present at the ceremony was the Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, who is also the Chairman of the Police Council, and other members of the Police Administration.