The concerns of members of the Patriotic Concerned Officers and Men (PACOM) in all the Security Services are real and disturbing. We dare say that the current situation at the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) is unacceptable to any genuine member, supporter and sympathizer of the NPP administration of His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo.
Rather sadly and strangely, the political appointees who should know better and assist the NPP administration to change things for the better and best in the GNFS are the ones who are making things and matters worse owing to their parochial, selfish and ethnic interests.
The Ministers at the Ministry of Interior, the Chief Director and other powerful faceless greedy bastards are being misled and deceived by the embattled incumbent Chief Fire Officer.
Members of PACOM in the GNFS have expressed serious concerns about the levels of corruption, abuse of power, injustices, unfair practices, ill-treatment and low morale in the GNFS and yet it appears that no meaningful and helpful attempts are underway to resolve these disturbing developments at the GNFS.
There is no doubt that the current Chief Fire Officer is a dyed in wool NDC member. Those who do not know the real antecedents of the CFO are reminded that he was specially recruited by the late former CFO, Mr. Vallis Akyianu.
At least, it is and was a known fact that Mr. Akyianu was a staunch member of the NDC. He contested Parliamentary elections on the ticket of the NDC in Cape Coast and held several NDC political appointments after retiring as the CFO after several years in that appointment.
Mr. Akyianu managed to project the current CFO as one of the heir apparents that the NDC could safely rely on. He was therefore given deliberate accelerated promotions during Mr. Akyianu’s tenure of office such that he rose over and above all his original mates of GNFS officers’ Intake 4.
After the departure of CFO Felix Kwame Ferka (GF 89006B), a member of GNFS officers’ Intake One (Intake 1), in 2009 on the assumption of office by President John Mills, the current CFO who was one of the Deputy Chief Officers (DCFOs) became the Acting Chief Fire Officer. He was replaced by Brigadier General JB Guyiri until he was re-appointed the substantive CFO in 2013.
The tenure of office of the current CFO has been rocked with various forms of scandals involving the acquisition of clothing (uniforms) and equipment and recruitment.
Various forms of Inquiry have been conducted into some of these scandalous activities with startling outcomes. Yet for some strange reasons, the incumbent CFO has managed to survive.
The CFO managed to touch base with the NPP campaign team during the 2016 elections and now wants to be seen as a staunch NPP member. Try as he has done, his loyalty to the NPP is being questioned by those who know him inside out.
There is no doubt that the current CFO is a trusted, loyal and active member of the NDC. Thus, the CFO is presenting and portraying a doubled political face which makes his retention rather precarious and unsafe for the NPP.
Additionally, unfortunately for the CFO, he has very serious medical challenges. He is not medically fit to continue in appointment as the CFO. If he would be candid enough with himself, he would agree that it is time for him to either resign or be made to vacate his appointment in line with the provisions of the Labour Act, 2003, Act 651.
Can he tell the Ghanaian people the number of times that he has reported for duty since 8th January 2017? How many times has he been seen publicly performing his duties as CFO?
How many times has he personally attended meetings of the National Security Council and other meetings that require the presence of the CFO?
It is very sad and unfortunate that the CFO is facing very serious medical challenges through no fault of his (perhaps due to natural causes).
But for how long can he hold the whole nation and the Ghana National Fire Service in particular to ransom? Only time will tell.
However, it appears that the political authorities have come to the realization that they may have to let the CFO go sooner than later.
Recognizing and conscious of that fact, the CFO and the Ministry of Interior have started an unfair succession plan to put favorites of the CFO, the Minister and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Interior ahead of those who are senior and more qualified professionally and politically.
The current CFO and the Ministry of Interior have deceived the GNFS Council to believe that an Intake 4 member colleague of the CFO is the heir apparent.
Through a Machevelian strategy, the CFO has projected and managed to obtain the approval of the Fire Service Council to appoint Mr. Julius Kuunuor as the Director In Charge of Finance and Administration and Second-In-Command to the Chief Fire Officer.
Through a letter of the GNFS dated 14th August 2017, the CFO has restructured the Command Positions of thirteen (13) senior officers of the GNFS.
For the avoidance of any doubts we reproduce some of the contents of the GNFS circular with Reference Number NFS/ADM/ P // 015 VOL.II./56 dated 14th August, 2017
“APPOINTMENTS WITHIN THE COMMAND HIERARCHY OF THE GHANA NATIONAL FIRE SERVICE
- At the Fire Service Council meeting held on Friday 11th August, 2017, the Council approved recommendations of a committee constituted to determine appointments to command positions within the hierarchy of the Service.
- Accordingly, the Council approved the appointment of Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Julius Kuunuor as the Director in Charge of Finance and Administration and Second- in- Command to the Chief Fire Officer.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Edwin Blankson was also appointed as the Director in Charge of Operations, and the Third- in- Command in the Service.
- Other appointments are as follows:
- DCFO Tony Gomez D (Tech Services) No 4
- DCFO Kwaku Manu Afful D (Rural Fires) No 5
- DCFO Edward K Ashon D (Logistics) No 6
- DCFO Victor Godwill D(PPM & E) No 7
- DCFO Samuel Offei Adade D (HM & Dev’t) No 8
- DCFO Robert Fiadzo RFO (Ashanti) No 9
- DCFO William Yawson D (Fire Safety) No 10
- DCFO Ebenezer Simpson RFO (GT Accra) No 11
- DCFO Patrick K Donkor D (Welfare) No 12
- DCFO Daniella M Ntow Sarpong RFO (Volta) No 13
The letter was distributed to the Hon. Minister, Ministry of the Interior, Accra, the Chairman, Fire Service Council, Accra, All Directors, All Regional Commanders, the Commanding Officer, HQ and the Commandants, FATS.
We wish to draw the attention of the NPP administration to the subtle attempt and plan by Mr. Albert Brown Gaisie and Hon Ambrose Dery, MP and Minister of Interior to appoint Mr. Julius Kuunuor as the next Chief Fire Officer before the end of 2017.
In order to realize that objective, a clever agreement has been reached between the current CFO and the Minister of Interior enabling Mr. Albert Brown Gaisie to travel to South Africa for a 15- day leave between 8th and 29th September 2017. In the absence of the CFO, Mr. Julius Kuunuor (DCFO) will act as the Chief Fire Officer.
As part of the “drama” the CFO wrote to the Chief Director, Ministry of the Interior, on 15th August 2017 (a day after the letter on Command positions declaring Mr. Julius Kuunuor as the Second – in- Command) requesting for fifteen (15) days proportionate leave and permission to travel to Pretoria, South Africa.
Again, for the avoidance of any doubts, we reproduce the letter written by Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie the Chief Fire Officer with Reference Number NFS/CFO/SCR/01 VOL.II/75 dated 15th August, 2017
“The Chief Director, Ministry of the Interior, Accra
REQUEST FOR FIFTEEN (15) DAYS PROPORTIONATE LEAVE AND PERMISSION TO TRAVEL TO PRETORIA SOUTH AFRICA
- I write to request for fifteen (15) days Proportionate Leave and permission effective 8th to 29th September 2017.
- The request is to enable me visit relatives and attend to other personal issues.
- I shall resume duty on Monday, 2nd October 2017
- DCFO Julius Kuunuor, Director (Finance and Administration) and Second-in Command act in my stead.
- The understated address shall be my contact whilst in South Africa.
C/O Mrs. Faustina Aidoo Boateng
40 Rigel Avenue
Water Kloof Ridge
Pretoria, South Africa.
Tel No. 002782752339.
- My cell phones, 0208119030 and 0244237372 shall also be available for emergency calls.
- Counting on your valued and compassionate approval
Signed Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie, Chief Fire Officer
Expectedly, the approval was given on 18th August 2017 through a Ministry of the Interior letter with Reference Number SCR/VA77/202/01 and signed by Hon Ambrose Dery [MP] and Minister for Interior.
Copies of the approved letter were distributed to the Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Flagstaff House; The Hon Deputy Minister, MINTER, Chief Director, MINTER; The Chairman, Fire Service Council and DCFO Julius Kuunuor, Director (Finance and Administration)”
We wish to emphasize that these are tangible incremental and positive steps taken by the CFO and Ministry of Interior to impose an activist of the NDC on the NPP administration as a compromise solution to satisfy the parochial interests of the parties. There is no doubt that the CFO is afraid of his departure owing to the numerous scandals that have characterized his tenure of office. He is therefore looking for a comfortable heir apparent who would protect his interests. He has readily found a willing partner in the newly promoted and projected DCFO in charge of Finance and Administration who is also a tribesman of the Minister of Interior.
For ethnic considerations, the Minister of Interior is prepared to recommend an active NDC member to the position of CFO to the detriment of genuine NPP DCFOs who are equally or better qualified by way of seniority in rank, service and age. What a travesty of justice!!
After several schemes to retain his position as CFO, Dr Albert Brown Gaisie has come to real terms that he cannot defy nature with his worsening medical challenges. We are informed that his attention has been drawn to the provisions of Section 15 of the Labour Act, 2003 Act 651.
Section 15 of Act 651 provides the grounds for termination of employment as follows: “A contract of employment may be terminated,
- by mutual agreement between the employer and the worker;
- by the worker on grounds of ill-treatment or sexual harassment
- by the employer on the death of the worker before the expiration of the period of employment
- by the employer if the worker is found on medical examination to be unfit for employment
- by the employer because of the inability of the worker to carry out his or her work due to
- sickness or accident; or
- incompetence of the worker; or
- proven misconduct of the worker.
Obviously, the current CFO may be relieved of his appointment under either Section 15 (d) or Section 15 (e) (i).
If the CFO were to be subjected to any objective medical examination he would be declared unfit for employment as the CFO or if he were to be sincere to himself, he would admit that he is unable to carry out his duties due to sickness.
Can we allege that the CFO is going to Pretoria, South Africa for medical treatment?
He cleverly covered that in Paragraph 2 of his request for fifteen (15) days proportionate leave and permission to travel to Pretoria, South Africa where he states that; “2. The request is to enable me visit relatives and attend to OTHER PERSONAL ISSUES.”
Certainly, the other personal issues cover his medical treatment as well or?
There is no doubt that the CFO and Hon. Ambrose Dery (MP) and Minister of Interior are preparing the minds of Ghanaians and in particular the personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service for the appointment of Mr. Julius Kuunuor as the substantive CFO in the immediate near future. This is quite disturbing as the personnel of GNFS and the NDC know that he is a dyed in wool member of the NDC. This is another worrying development in the NPP administration where for personal, selfish, parochial and ethnic considerations, government appointees’ project NDC activists over qualified and competent NPP members, sympathizers and supporters. This trend is creating disaffection and discontentment among the rank and file of the NPP. Those are some of the concerns of the Kennedy Agyapongs.
It is very unfair for a group of people to work extremely hard to secure victory for the NPP only for known NDC members to reap the benefits of the victory to the chagrin of the NPP members. This practice needs to be stopped in order not to create major problems for the NPP in 2020 and beyond.
It is very sad to note that those NPP sympathizers, supporters and members who “killed” themselves for the NPP and suffered various forms of ill-treatment and injustices at the hands of the Mills-Mahama administrations are now being marginalized and ignored by the NPP administration that they fought very hard to establish.
In the case of the GNFS, the current CFO has deliberately misled the Fire Service Council in connivance with the Ministry of Interior to deny genuinely qualified and competent NPP officers of the GNFS the opportunity to be appointed CFO.
The committee that the CFO selected to make recommendations to determine appointments to Command positions was packed with the CFO’s loyalists in a very biased manner. The CFO has deliberately projected his Intake Mates (Intake Four) over their original seniors of Intakes One and Two.
For instance, based on the letter of 14th August, 2017 the top thirteen Command positions have eight (8) members of Intake Four; only two (2) members of Intake One (i); and three (3) members of Intake Two (2).
Obviously, the CFO is more comfortable with his Intake Mates and has therefore manipulated the system to project them over their seniors of Intakes One and Two.
It may be of interest to note that as at 20th February 2004, Mr. Julius Kuunuor who, together with the current DCFOs were all D01s, was occupying the 117th position on the Seniority list.
Interestingly, DCFO Tony Augustine Gomez occupied the 118th position, DCFO Edward K Ashon occupied the 124th position and then Madam Daniella M Gollo (and now Mrs. Daniela M Ntow Sarpong) occupied the 131st position.
It is gratifying to note that Messieurs Kwaku Manu Afful, Yawson William, Edwin Blankson, Victor Godwyll, Ebenezer Simpson, Samuel Offei Adade and Patrick Kennedy Donkor occupied 5th, 7th, 13th, 16th, 25th, 99th and 111th positions respectively.
Remarkably, the name of Mr. Robert Fiadzo did not feature in the Seniority List of 166 D01s as at February 2004.
Thus, going by the original Seniority in service and seniority in rank, the Command positions should have been as follows:
- GF 89012 B Kwaku Manu Afful (Intake 1) D01 01/9/92
- GF 89014 B William Yawson (Intake 1) D01 01/9/92
- GF 89058 L Edwin Blankson (intake 2) D01 01/9/92
- GF 89064 L Victor CD Godwyll (Intake 2) D01 01/9/92
- GF 90003 B Ebenezer Simpson (Intake 2) D01 01/9/92
- GF 91008G Samuel Offei Adade (Intake 4) D01 01/9/92
- GF 92016 K Patrick Kennedy Donkor (Intake 4) D01 01/9/92
- GF 92020 K Julius Kuunuor (Intake 4) D01 01/9/95
- GF 91011 G Augustine Tony Gomez (Intake 4) D01 01/3/95
- GF 92018 K Edward K Ashon (Intake 4) D01 01/4/95
- GF 93006 A Daniella M Ntow Sarpong (Intake 4) D01 01/5/95
- GF 89051 K Robert Fiadzo (Intake 4) D01 01/7/95
It is obvious from the reconstructed list of Seniority in Service and rank that there is a gross injustice in the Command positions published in the letter of the CFO dated 14th August, 2017.