It has become extremely necessary to give a short preamble to today’s edition owing to some misrepresentations that are being made and circulated about this column. Some individuals feel that the column intends to “destroy” certain personalities. Others feel that it intends to “wage an ethnocentric war” in the security services. Neither of these perceptions is correct.
The column rather seeks to draw the attention of certain authorities to some injustices, detrimentally discriminatory practices, inappropriate actions, unfair treatment, malpractices and various forms of wrongdoings in the Security Services. The principal objective of defending and protecting the interests of the vulnerables in the Security Services is cardinal in all our discussions. The intention is to raise concerns about unhealthy developments that work against our national interest.
Ideally, all members of the Security Services are to be extremely loyal to the state and therefore the government. There is a contract under seal between the state and members of the Security Services. Members of the Security Services must have and exhibit a high sense of esprit de corps, teamwork, mutual love, assistance and cooperation in all their endeavours.
From the colonial era up to the era of His Excellency Dr. Hilla Liman, the President of the Third Republic, these virtues and principles appeared to be working well in spite of the turbulences of February 1966, January 1972, even June 4 1979 and through to December 1981. Unfortunately, during the era of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) a sharp dichotomy between the revolutionaries and reactionaries surfaced in the Security Services, especially in the military. Deliberate conscious efforts were made to favour some officers and men from certain regions to the chagrin of others from the “ABE Regions” in particular. These seeds of “divide and rule”, positive discrimination, discord and segmentation along ethnic and political lines seen in the PNDC era have blossomed into maturity and are now bearing fruits of grave injustices, unfairness and incongruity.
It may be said that some of the excesses were done at the blind side of His Excellency Flt Lt JJ Rawlings. There are pieces of evidence to show that members of the “Dzelukope mafia” strategized and implemented the policy in very subtle, clandestine and surreptitious manner with the blessings of the Tsikatas, especially Kojo, who had to complete the unfinished business of General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka. There are also pieces of evidence to show that in some instances, when the vibrant, dynamic and forceful former “first lady extraordinaire” Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings got wind of some of those “atrocities” meted against Akans especially those from the “ABE” Regions, she stepped in, in an uncompromising manner, to either mitigate or dismantle those injustices, malpractices and inappropriate actions.
For those reasons and others, we wish to salute and congratulate Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings. Her accolade- “be bold and be counted”- started long before the formation of her party, the National Democratic Party (NDP). She fights against injustices and could not be intimidated by the Mills, Mahamas and others who wanted to cow her into submission because of her enormous strength, bold character and ingenuity. What an asset for the Rawlings family especially Jerry John!! We, therefore, dare say that we are only complementing the efforts of the likes of Mrs. Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Colonel Oti Prempeh and the late General WM Mensah-Wood in ensuring that there is justice, fairness, transparency, loyalty and commitment to duty on the part of all ranks in the Security Services.
The Goumils are also to be counted here. We are unable to close our eyes for officers and men who contributed immensely towards the perpetration of injustices, vindictiveness, victimization, division, divide and rule, ugly favoritism, marginalization of the vulnerables and perceived “enemies of the revolution” to turn around to compete with the same victims of their poisonous acts in the new dispensation. Those who became “tin gods” in the eras of Mills and Mahama and used their “powers and influences” to destroy innocent hardworking professionally upright officers and men while at the same time they actively joined the “create, loot and share” Brigade and have become millionaires coupled with accelerated promotions in the military, are today using their ill gotten wealth and resources to lobby for positions and appointments in the system.
Rather sadly, these NDC activists who became “terrorists” and made the lives of the officers and men perceived to be sympathizers of the NPP miserable, are the ones being projected by the political and military authorities to the dismay of all reasonable persons and right thinking members of our community. It is true that the President of the Republic and the Commander In Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces wants to be a true father for all and is not prepared to countenance any form of discrimination, especially along ethnic and political lines, in the public services and the Security Services. Nevertheless, he should be the first to be concerned about loyalty, integrity, commitment and hard work.
Most of the NDC activists (officers and men) are now active businessmen and politicians. They do not work diligently because of their desire to sabotage the NPP Administration. They continue to hold meetings to maintain their solidarity. They are in constant touch with the NDC political hierarchy, leadership in Parliament and former appointees such as Ministers, Parliamentarians, MMDCEs, Chief Executives of Companies, Corporations, Chief Directors and various heads of MDAs. They are not relenting or waiving on their agenda to restore the NDC to power. They are in constant touch with the NDC communicators and are feeding them with information of all classifications with a common objective of chasing the elephant back into the forest in 2020. There is no joke about that. They have the money and resources to do so.
Most followers of the NPP had their businesses collapsed by the NDC. The current economic reality is that the top rich 5% of Ghana’s population has over 80% of them as NDC members. The middle class of university graduates occupying fulfilling job opportunities have over 60% as NDC activists. The long stay in power of the NDC and their brutal no – nonsense approach to issues have enabled them to seize control of the commanding heights of our social, political and economic lives. Thus, while the NDC created and nurtured millionaires in our society, the same cannot be said of the NPP. Most of the NDC Members of Parliament, former Members of Parliament, MMDCEs, former Chief Directors, former Directors, formers appointees, former heads of public institutions and MDAs are fabulously rich. They really created avenues to enrich themselves and their future generations.
Members of the Security Services who were on the active side of the NDC regime, especially those associated with the Castle, Flagstaff House and occupants of vital positions and appointments in the NDC government are now miles ahead of their colleagues and counterparts of the same ranks and levels before the inception of the NDC in January 2009. Most of them are now socially, economically and professionally ahead of their former colleagues. Is it fair to have a situation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm? The answer is No. must the status quo be maintained? The answer is again No.
Will it not be appropriate and fair to b ring some parity into the system so that the status quo ante the NDC regimes of Mills/Mahama can be restored? That will be perfectly fair because in most of the security services, former President Kufuor ensured that there were fairness and justice. Appointments, promotions, power and position distributions were equitable, just and not as skewed as they were during the eras of Mills and Mahama.
Kufuor rewarded deserving officers and men appropriately. A classic example of that could be found in the military. The Military High Command, the Intermediate Military Command, Tactical Command and Staff appointments were fairly distributed along regional and ethnic lines thereby neatly encompassing and encapsulating all the major political and regional considerations unconsciously. For instance, in the military, the last major appointments and promotions of December 2008, published on 6th January 2009 showed a heterogeneously balanced exercise that catered for the interests of the various stakeholders.
It was in that Military Secretary’s publication that there were only three promotions to the rank of Brigadier General in the Army. The three persons were Brigadier Generals HWK Agbenuzah (GH/1565) and JCA Searyoh (GH/1582) –both Ewes from the Volta Region- and Brigadier General J Kwasie (Nzema from the Western Region).
At that same time, Brigadier General Ahiaglo was the Defence Adviser to Adis Ababa, Ethiopia and was to be joined by Colonel Issa Wuni (Northerner) in South Africa, Brigadier General A Annan (Ga) in Germany, Commodore F Daley (Ewe) in Abuja, Nigeria, Group Captain Dwamena-Mante (Akwapim) for USA and Brigadier General J Kwasie (Nzema), UN HQ New York (USA) among others. Unfortunately, that publication was changed. All officers from the “ABE Regions” were dropped while the Gas, Ewes and Northerners were maintained. In the places of the officers from the ABE Regions were inserted the names of Ewes and Northerners (the Gborglahs and others).
Thus, right from 8th January 2009, the battle lines were drawn. Incidentally, on the same 8th January 2009, there was a Military Secretary publication to the effect that then Major Paul Seidu Tanye-Kulonyo (GH/2495), who had been appointed the Presidential Security Coordinator for President JEA Mills at the Castle, should be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. That was just a day after President Mills had been sworn in. It was obvious that no meeting of the Military High Command had taken place for such a recommendation to be made. It was only the Chief of Army Staff, Major General SA Odotei, who had been instructed by Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah, the then National Security Adviser to effect the promotion of the officer.
The procedurally wrong promotion of Major PS Tanye-Kulonyo over and above his seniors and mates was in recognition of the invaluable services that he had provided the NDC in the 2008 general elections. This was an officer who was the second in command at the Headquarters of the Ghana Military Police (GMP). He exploited his position to place the weapons, ammunitions and other assets and resources of the GMP, including the MP installations at Okponglo, at the disposal of the Gbevlo-Larteys, Arnold Quninoos and other NDC activists in order to intimidate the NPP and ultimately wrestle power from the NPP.
For those and other activities that then Major PS Tanye-Kulonyo undertook overtly and covertly for the NDC, he was rewarded with the appointment of Presidential Security Coordinator (PSC) and a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. This officer has become fabulously rich and boasts of all forms of assets because of his association with the NDC. At the tail end of the NDC Administration, now Colonel PS Tanye-Kulonyo was given a scholarship and sponsorship to pursue a Masters Degree in Law in the United States of America.
On his return to Ghana, in 2017 under the Administration of the NPP, now Colonel PS Tanye-Kulonyo has succeeded in using his “Northern citizenship” and other influences over the Nitiwuls, Okyeres and Akwas to get a “befitting appointment” in the Ghana Armed Forces. These are, obviously, some of the annoying developments that have created tension in the military. Those officers who performed their duties professionally devoid of any ethnocentric or political considerations are still struggling to get “befitting appointments” in the military while the likes of the Tanye-Kulonyos who are 100% NDC politicians are to reap from where they have not sown.
It was the partnerships of then Colonel Lawson (ADC to President Mills), Lieutenant Colonel Attachie (Staff officer to the Chief of Staff) and Lieutenant Colonel PS Tanye-Kulonyo (PSC to President Mills); Air Vice Marshal CEK Dovlo (Commandant, KAIPTC); Commodore Biekro (Chief of Staff); Brigadier General S Adams (Military Secretary); Lieutenant Colonel AK Adokpa (member of the Divesture Implementation Committee and a member of the mafia) and others that saw the “destruction” of very fine professionally upright officers in order to prosecute the agenda on the axis of evil that they had set for the system and themselves.
The presence of characters such as Colonels Rogatus John Koku Komlaga (GH/2497), Mohammed Mustapha (GH/2426) and Yehuza Salifu (GH/2685) at the Department of Defence Intelligence; Colonels CK Lithur (GH/2502), LK Gbetanu (GH/2504), MK Bediako (GH/2452) S Gagakuma (GH/2430) and A Ntem (GH/2434) among others at very strategic positions and appointments are some of the reasons why there is tension at Burma Camp.
All the immediate aforementioned officers are dyed in wool NDC activists who played and continue to play very active role in the affairs of the NDC and yet they are occupying very important positions and appointments which they are using to prop up the NDC while sabotaging the NPP in the administration of Nana Akufo-Addo.
For instance, how can well known NDC activists in the persons of Air Commodores JSK Dzamefe (GH/2069), IR Wayoe (GH/2070) and Brigadier General RK Ametepi be maintained at sensitive places such as Logistics, Training and Medical respectively when it is obvious that they are maintaining and projecting the interests of NDC members?
Almost all the contractors of the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence are NDC members and activists. Attempts by NPP members to get contracts in the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence were thwarted by these dyed-in-wool NDC officers. They have the support of the Defence Financial Controller, Brigadier General AK Dzisi (GH/2334), and huge payments are made to NDC contractors to the neglect of the few poor NPP contractors who are given only minor contracts. For instance, for the over four years that Air Commodore IR Wayoe was the Director-General (Plans and Development) (where he became a millionaire), he is alleged to have ensured that all big, lucrative and sensitive contracts were awarded to NDC members and activists.
Having done all these “atrocities” against the interests of individual businessmen and women considered to be NPP members and sympathizers during the NDC regimes of Mills/Mahama, these officers have managed to use their ill-gotten monies and resources to “hold on” to power and authority in the NPP Administration of His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo to the annoyance and disbelief of professionally upright and loyal officers. Most of the NDC inclined officers are not helping the system and the NPP Administration. They are rather sabotaging. The corrupt practices have not stopped. It is business as usual and a ranter of “wait for your turn”.
The consequences of some of the actions of these known NDC activists are the current inertia and shortages facing the Ghana Armed Forces. Projects are at a standstill. The situation has become worse because the political leadership at the Ministry of Defence is not smart and sharp enough to see through the destruction and sabotage that is taking place in the system now.
Additionally and unfortunately, the Chief of Defence Staff is playing the role of a Pastor and Priest and not an action oriented military man that he should be. A dull ignorant political leadership is regrettably combining with a weak military leadership that does not want to offend even a fly. Persons in command and staff appointments are not performing to expectation and yet they are to be maintained. Because some officers attend the same churches and social gatherings with persons in authority, they are to be maintained or projected for certain positions that they do not deserve. Those in authority too could not be bothered about the detrimental effects of their reckless decisions.
Are the Generals Okyere, RO Sackey and others who matter in these affairs listening? Do they care? Are these authorities aware of the complaints of the troops in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission Areas?
Are they aware that we have relapsed to the Mahama era when the payment of Earned Dollar and other UN Allowances of Ghanaian troops were delayed unnecessarily? Are they aware that troops are now forced to come to Ghana for their leave periods and yet their leave allowances are not being paid on time?
Are they aware that soldiers in Lebanon are borrowing dollars from the local businessmen at astronomical interest rates or by way of barter trade to enable them send monies to their spouses for the payment of school fees and other commitments? What has changed so fast that arrears were paid fully in February 2017, just a month after His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo took power, and by October 2017, we are almost back to square one? Several factors account for that. Sabotage cannot be eliminated from it.
Yet, poor political and military leaderships cannot be divorced from the current state of affairs. The “evil partnership” between the Chief Director and Accountant at the Ministry of Defence (both Nyebros) and the Defence Financial Controller and Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters (also both Nyebros) is to a very large extent responsible for that. They are the signatories to the various accounts of the Ministry of Defence and the Ghana Armed Forces. They deliberately fail or refuse to initiate actions in good times to secure funds at the right time. The Chief Director at the Ministry of Defence and the Minister of Defence are competing for “Golden Awards in Travelling” from British Airways, KLM and the Emirates.
They are always travelling either together or one after the other. The numerous travels by the Minister and the Chief Director to China, Russia, Japan, Korea and other places are yet to yield positive results. Instead of staying in the country to follow developments thereby leaving professionals to do the travels to report to them, they have become flying birds hopping from one destination to another. The deputy minister is not helping either. The expectation that as an ex soldier and a retired officer, he could be of immense assistance to the “one-eyed” Minister has fizzled out as he appears to be blind and confused himself. Latest reports on him are that he is always at Forces Pay Regiment enjoying with his mate at the Military Academy and Forces Pay Corps who is the Commanding Officer there. We need serious brains to work to resolve the numerous challenges and problems facing our gallant officers and men.
Our earlier pieces of advice on probing contracts and supplies for food and fuel fell on deaf ears. The huge debts accumulated by the NDC are being cleared by the NPP. But that should not be at the expense of current administration and operations. A reasonable balance should be struck so that our creditors would be partially satisfied while current works, administration and operations would get underway. It is a well known fact that most of the “debts” were doubtful as most of the items were diverted for private gains and not for the well-being and real concerns of the troops. For instance, overwhelming evidence abounds to the effect that fuel was diverted in huge quantities to the “private depots” of some officers and men and yet nothing is being done about that.
Again, short and no supplies at all of food and other items are alleged to have occurred and yet no action has been contemplated. The persons responsible for these malpractices are enjoying their booty happily because of some small brown and white envelopes that they allegedly gave to persons who lack integrity but are occupying very sensitive appointments and positions. These are enemies of the NPP Administration even though they are NPP appointees!! They need to think about the system and not themselves. Is it not an insult that Generals would accept amounts in only “thousands” when the thieves have made away with “millions” of cedis and in some cases dollars?
Did we go or did we come? The hearts of members of Patriotic Concerned Officers and Men (PACOM) are bleeding over some of these issues. Immediate, urgent and appropriate actions are required to stop the rot in Burma Camp. But do we have the men (or properly put the leadership) to do it? Only time will tell. Some known saboteurs must be released at whatever costs but they are living on the strength of their ages, mostly false ages. Most of the Brigadier Generals and Colonels lied about their ages.
Very old officers, some of whom worked as pupil teachers and in other capacities, managed to doctor their ages when it mattered most and are therefore walking about in the system when their colleagues of integrity who were honest about their ages have been retired.
Can the following officers swear by the deities and the appropriate holy books (Bible and Quran) that they are using their correct ages? Brigadier General M Whajah-0/04/1958, Air Commodore IR Wayoe-09/09/1959, Rear Admiral M Beick-Baffour-27/02/1961, Air Commodore JSK Dzanefe-30/10/1959, Brigadier General A Alhassan -05/05/1959, Major General SK Adeti-17/08/1959, Brigadier General EDEM Fiawoo-04/09/1958, Brigadier General AK Yeboah- 31/12/1959, Brigadier General RK Ametepi-09/09/1956, Brigadier General SB Alloh- 02/06/1960, Brigadier General F Buliga- 15/03/1960, Brigadier General MK Akpatsu-28/03/1960, Brigadier General CK Agbeka- 22/04/1958, Brigadier General CEA Edjeani-Afenu-05/03/1960, Brigadier General MK Gyeke-Asante-14/12/1960, Brigadier General SMAEK Ayer- 11/03/1960,Brigadier General AK Boimah-23/06/1959, Brigadier General F Ofori- 05/08/1961, Brigadier General NK Kporku-16/08/1961 and Brigadier General CK Gyasensir-17/10/1960. We shall visit the ages issue in the very near future.