The Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu has defended a decision by the Ghana Police Service to adopt social media platform, WhatsApp as a communication tool within the service.
“It’s a valid communication amongst us,” Asante-Apeatu said explaining that the platform has a way to track messages.
Some of the police officials who appeared before the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry claimed they received directives from their superiors during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election via WhatsApp.
They also maintained that such practice is an acceptable way of communication within the Police service.
The Accra Regional Police Operations Commander, Chief Superintendent Kwesi Ofori, admitted in his testimony before the Emile Short Commission last week that, although he believes communication via Whatsapp should “officially be part of our working culture” he noted that “it may have some minuses.”
Responding to questions from a member of the commission, Kofi Abotsi, Chief Supt. Ofori agreed that instructions via WhatsApp would not be an official record.
“In my personal judgement, when it comes to critical issues, I may not use that medium to communicate knowing very well that the service instructions of the police service has not captured those things in detail as part of our official communication,” he said.
But the IGP while testifying before the Commission on Tuesday, noted that they sometimes use text messaging for internal directives but “for immediate communication, we rely on the social media.”
“It’s normal. I am on the same platform with all the regional commanders. The police management board members also have a platform…Because there is a record trail. It’s a valid communication amongst us…These records normally, the once we send on WhatsApp, culminate into a document. So we can use both. But for immediate communication, we rely on the social media,” Asante-Apeatu told the Commission.