Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe of the governing New Patriotic Party has said the Inspector-General of Police George Akuffo Dampare must resign from his position for breaching diplomatic protocol by writing directly to British High Commissioner Harriet Thompson over his reservations with her tweet on the arrest of social activist Oliver Barker-Vormawor for a traffic offence.
What he did is totally wrong”, the former Chairman of the Ghana Football Association told Kofi Oppong Asamoah in an interview on the Class Morning Show on Wednesday, 1 June 2022, adding: “He has no right to deal directly with the head of state of another country”.
Dr Dampare wrote to the British High Commissioner describing her recent ‘I’ll be interested to see where this goes’ comment on the arrest of Mr Barker-Vormawor, as “uninformed, biased, misguided and unwarranted”.
After Mr Barker-Vormawor was arrested in mid-May this year for the alleged traffic offence, the UK envoy tweeted on 17 May: “Oliver Barker Vormawor, the 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…”
“Ordinarily, the Ghana Police Service would not have responded to comments such as yours, obviously made from either a biased or uninformed position”, the IGP noted in his letter.
However”, it continued, “We have learnt from a previous painful experience that it has not been helpful to ignore such misguided, unwarranted, and biased comments intended to tarnish the reputation of the Ghana Police Service and that of our country.”
The police also accused the UK envoy of interfering in Ghana’s internal affairs with her tweet.
“What is more, we consider your tweet as a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 which enjoins diplomatic missions not to interfere in the internal affairs of their host country”.
Responding to the IGP’s response, however, Ms Thompson said: “It is clear from the response that it has not been received the way it was intended”.
She told Accra-based GHOne TV that her tweet “wasn’t after a response from the IGP at all”.
“When I comment on social media, I comment on all sorts of things in which I’m interested, I suppose to show people a bit about me, to try to open up about what it means to be a High Commissioner in a country like Ghana; what it is, not just to be me as a High Commissioner but also, me, as a person, so, I’ll tweet about the places in Ghana I’ve been and found beautiful or interesting, the people I’ve met and so on, so, I don’t necessarily look for any response”, she explained.
Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe, who is a retired military officer, admonished the IGP to “take your time”.
“If I were him, I would take my pen now and resign from the police service”, he said.
He stressed: “There was no need for the IGP to write a letter to the high commissioner. There was no need at all”.
“If pressure was put on him to do that then that is very unfortunate. How can an IGP write to a high commissioner? For what reason? They must give us a break. We are getting sick and tired now”, he noted.