The 26th of November 1993 remains a turning point in my life as well as 63 other colleagues of mine; the November 1993 Recruit Constables.
After 11 months 2 weeks (50 weeks) of intensed recruit training at the National Police Training School, Tesano, we graduated on this date to join the rank and file of the Ghana Police Service at the very bottom. I was honoured as the overall best recruit and had the unique opportunity to receive the Baton of Honour from the reviewing officer, Mr. G. S. Aggor, Commissioner of Police in-charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, as he then was.
In those good old days, I knew nobody in the Police Service nor in Accra but came from my village in the Upper West Region and joined the thousands during the recruitment exercise that took place at the same venue where I was later trained. Three months after taking part in the recruitment examination, I had to come back to Accra to view the long list of results released. The results were pasted on a giant notice board serially arranged in descending order of marks. When I wriggled my way through the crowd to the beginning of the results, it wasn’t difficult to find my name because it was the first on the list. I dropped some tears of joy with so much trust in the integrity of the system.
This 30-year ‘marathon’ occasioned diverse experiences for the Squad. Some of my colleagues died along the line while others left abroad for greener pastures. With my “bogga” brethren, I can recall Constables Joseph Gbedemah, Sampson Owusu, Christian Oppong Kyekyeku, Emmanuel Duah, Faustina Asantewaa and Comfort Boadi. I wish them well wherever they are now
The youngest amongst us at the time, 19 year old Constable Emmanuel Kofi Odonkor. aka Akoko is now a chief superintendent and a lawyer. The gentleman who came second in our final exams and was awarded as Best Academician is currently an Assistant Commissioner at the Police Headquarters, ACP/Mr. Wisdom Lavoe. Others, including Joseph Atideku, the officer with the best handwriting, and Stanley Dzakpasu, are superintendents.
The least in terms of rank are Chief Inspectors with the most revered amongst them a Pastor, Solomon Ketu. We cannot be less grateful to the almighty God.
I served a little over 25 years, retired voluntarily at the rank of superintendent, and transited into politics where the good people of the Wa West Constituency voted massively for me to represent them in Parliament. As a Member of Parliament for almost 3 years, I believe Parliament as an institution needs politicians with some professional and/or technical backgrounds for effective legislation, oversight, and development advocacy.
Experiences garnered while serving as a Police Officer in Ghana and within the international space have turned me into a brand of my own in politics.
As the senior man (Leader) of the November 1993 Squad, I stand on behalf of colleagues both in and out of Service, to thank the Government of Ghana, the Ghana Police Service (GPS) particularly the Drill and Classroom Instructors at the time, Cooks from the Recruit Mess, the Doctors and Nurses at Police Hospital and the Depot Clinic for the various critical roles they played.
Last but not least, we thank our families who stood by us through these difficult years.
May the souls of our departed colleagues rest in peace. They paid the highest price in the service of Mother Ghana.
I cannot end without being personal in thanking Sergeant Opare Ansah, then called, now domiciled in the United States of America for being the inspiration behind me joining the Police Service.
It is important to encourage the current Inspector-General of Police Dr. George Akuffo Dampare and the team of Police Management Board Members, to contribute their quota to make the Service better than they met it. We should continue to improve. I do not doubt his capacity to leave a better legacy as he has access to the performances of his predecessors. Lessons learned create better leaders.
I remain a servant to the people in a different capacity with the same principles, beliefs, and values.
May God continue to make our country great and strong.
Long live Ghana
Long live the GPS
Long live the Nov’93 Squad.