UK High Commissioner Harriet Thompson has said her tweet on Oliver Barker-Vormawor’s last arrest for a traffic offence was not intended, in any way to elicit a response from Ghana’s Inspector General of Police.
Dr George Akuffo Dampare wrote to the British High Commissioner describing her recent ‘I’ll be interested to see where this goes’ comment on the arrest of #FixTheCountry Movement convener, 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 police noted.
“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.