There is no doubt that as a father of the nation and the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, His Excellency the President of the Republic, Nana Addo, wants to maintain and continue with the policy of “Nkabom” in the security services and all spheres of affairs in the nation.
Ideally, that would be the right and best way to go and to handle matters. Unfortunately, we are not in an ideal situation in Ghana after the eight year rule, destructive and polarized rule by the Mills-Mahama administration. It is when the playing field is leveled, opportunities are equal, equity is the order of the day, oppression and suppression are relegated to the background, all forms of discrimination are eschewed, real and effective justices are in place, greed and avarice are avoided and integrity is maintained by way of probity and accountability that we can understand and appreciate the posture taken by the leader of our community.
Members of the Patriotic Concerned Officers and Men (PACOM) wish to humbly and respectfully draw the attention of the leader of our community to the numerous injustices and discrimination that were meted out to very noble, innocent and professionally upright officers and men in our security services, especially the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service during the last eight year rule of the NDC, particularly the infamous four and half year rule of John Mahama.
Members of PACOM maintain and can cite several examples of injustices and discrimination that were exacted on “innocent vulnerable” officers and men in all the security services. Those who were put at the helm of affairs during the notorious rule of the Mills-Mahama administration acted with abundant recklessness, impunity and insensitivity to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian. They just could not be bothered about the concerns raised over disunity, injustices and discrimination in appointments, promotions, postings and transfers.
Those perceived to be and who indeed were and are “NDC compliant” were given “red carpet” treatment in their various fields of endeavour while those perceived to be on the other side of the political divide, especially those suspected to be sympathizers and members of the NPP, were marginalized, ill-treated, maltreated, denied justice and opportunities commensurate with their circumstances, positions, appointments, ranks and grade. All these happened in the full glare and to the hearing and admiration of those who mattered in the Mills-Mahama administration.
Those in authority rejoiced with their “members” over “booties” and “enhanced opportunities” while the suffering masses and those at the receiving end of the discriminatory policies and wicked actions of the power drunkards cried and wept over their unfortunate circumstances. It was clear everywhere, especially in the barracks that there were the “haves” and “haves-not” in society.
People were reeling in pain, anguish and disbelief.
A real situation of Animal Farm existed everywhere in the Ghanaian society. The NDC family enjoyed real life. They lived in opulence, extravagance and excesses, while the vast majority of Ghanaians, who had to live with their misfortunes, cried and wept for salvation, redemption and liberation.
In the barracks, it was not uncommon to see the wives and children of officers and men associated with the Mills-Mahama administration displaying opulent life-styles, riding in plushy vehicles, walking about with air of superiority, threatening and intimidating the ‘orphans” who had no political Godfathers and Mothers.
Thus, the polarization of the Armed Forces and security services that started during the coup d’état eras became more evident, more sustained, nourished and redefined to suit the divide and rule tactics of the NDC to the detriment and chagrin of the vast majority of the officers, men and civilian employees of the security services and the masses of Ghana.
Against this background was the quest for a “Messiah” to save the undesirable situation that had been imposed on our society by the wicked and criminally-minded leaders and their cabals, cohorts, “mafias” and syndicates.
To many ordinary Ghanaians in the entire society and the poor and vulnerable in the security services, the election of His Excellency Nana Addo was an answer to their prayer for salvation, redemption, equity, justice, equal opportunities, probity, accountability, integrity and real discipline.
To this vast majority of Ghanaians, there is the need for redress. There is the real need to correct all the anomalies in order to have a leveled platform and foundation upon which to build the society of equity, fairness and equal opportunities devoid of any form of discrimination.
Until and unless the injustices have been corrected, probity and accountability have been guaranteed, those found to be guilty of any and all forms of malpractices and inappropriate actions have taken through the required due process and given punishments commensurate with acts of commission and omission, members of PACOM think there can be no real peace, harmony and comradeship in our society as a whole and the barracks in particular.
For instance, while some professionally very upright officers and men were released from the services under very bizarre and suspicious circumstances, their colleagues or juniors who did not deserve nor merit certain appointments and positions were given them on a silver platter as “rewards” for “loyalty to the umbrella fraternity” or for “political and ethnocentric correctness” a la the NDC.
As a result, the current seniority rolls in the security services do not reflect a time and fair view of what merit, ability, skill and competence based on training, experience, maturity and performance should be.
In those circumstances, it may be wrong for the authorities to rely on such seniority rolls to make more postings, appointments and promotions until the injustices and inequalities have been addressed. It is true that in some instances, the “PASSOVER” policy could be justified owing to the inefficiency, incompetence, lack of character and other demonstrable qualities of the officers, men and civilian employees concerned.
However, in most of the cases, there was a hidden agenda to deliberately project some favorite officers, men and civilian employees on one part while at the same time, painstaking and well thought out plans were executed to humiliate, oppress, frustrate and eventually release some of them from the service. It is sad that a good lot of such oppressed officers, men and civilian employees have already been released and may never have the opportunity to receive real justice.
Fortunately, there are a few others still serving in the system who could be “rehabilitated”, “resurrected” or “resuscitated” to receive equity, justice and fair treatment before they eventually retire honorably from the service or die in order to remove or minimize the bitterness and pain in them.
With this lengthy prelude, we now wish to examine some of the statements made by the President to the members of our community on Friday 30th June 2017 at Burma Hall in Burma Camp. His Excellency the President, the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and as “Father of the Nation” preached for unity and harmony in the security service. He reiterated his call for the non- politicization of the Ghana Armed Forces and by extension the security services. He said emphatically that there are No NDC soldiers nor NPP soldiers. There are only soldiers of the Ghana Armed Forces. Thus, there are only “Ghana Soldiers” and not party soldiers (NDC and NPP).
Furthermore, His Excellency, the leader of our community advised the troop not to be involved in partisan politics. He continued to say that those who wanted to do politics should leave the service (put their uniforms down) to be able to do active politics. These are good pieces of advice and may be considered seriously by members of the Ghana Armed Forces and by extension the security services.
With all humility and respect, we wish to do a few analyses to show the danger inherent in the rebuttable presumption of His Excellency the President that there are “No NDC soldiers or NPP Soldiers”. The truth is that whether His Excellency the President and leader of our community likes it or not, there are already NDC soldiers (officers and men) and NPP soldiers (officers or men). The battle lines had already been drawn by the NDC administration.
The NDC administration had and still has a list of those on our side soldiers (NDC officer and men) and those or the other side (NPP officers and men). The NDC promoted it, are promoting it even in opposition, and will continue to promote it whether in opposition or in government in the near and distant future. This is an entrenched position taken by the NDC and nothing can change their mind.
Your Excellency, the truth is that your call is in the right direction but will never find favour with those in the “umbrella fraternity” or inclined towards the NDC. Your Excellency, your call, is at best, going to endanger the career development of officers, men and civilian employees perceived to be members or sympathizers of the NPP and to heal the wounds of discrimination.
Your Excellency, whether you believe it or not the Ghana Armed Forces and other security services are already polarized along NDC and NPP lines. A mere call, as you have made, will and cannot change the reality on the ground. Deliberate, concrete and conscious efforts should be made to address all the injustice in the system, to uproot corruption and corrupt practices to curb abuses of power, instill discipline without fear or favour and above all to put the right loyal people at the night places.
Your Excellency, the truth is that the NDC administration used the recruitment exercise to provide jobs for it supporters, members, foot-soldiers, relatives and friends of theirs. Potential recruits were shortlisted from lists provided by the Presidency, Cabinet, Ministers, Parliamentarians, MMDCEs, Party Executives at National, Regional and Constituency levels for all the security services.
As we write, the Ghana Immigration Service, the Ghana National Fire Service, the Ghana Police Service, the Prisons Service and the Ghana Armed Forces have predominantly NDC ‘allies’ undergoing training at the respective training centres/schools or are standing by to start training. There was no transparency nor fairness in the selection process. There are several stories of NDC lists coming even from the offices of “WIVES” of political office holders.
The former first lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama, was indeed a “Chief Labour officer” who provided employment for several thousands of NDC allies in various public institutions including the security services.
For instance, it was one of such recruitment exercises that an Immigration officer who was in charge of Human Resource at the Headquarters of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) got himself into trouble. An exercise had been started, examinations written by potential recruits and short listing was on going at Dodowa when the then most powerful person in the GIS, caused the abrupt halt to the exercise, posted the scheduled officer from Accra to Sunyani and brought her brother from Sunyani to Accra within forty- eight (48) hours.
The “crime” of that poor GIS officer who wanted transparency and fairness was that he had refused to take the orders of the then most powerful person in the GIS to the effect that only names on a “Protocol List” were to be used as against the real list. As we write, those favoured by the then most powerful person in the GIS numbering about seven hundred (700) are at training at Assin Fosu in the Central Region.
Similar numbers of recruits of NDC persuasion are at training at the Ghana National Fire Service Academy in Accra waiting to pass out. The story is the same for the Ghana Police and Prisons Services where “NDC allies” are at training at various locations.
The case of the Ghana Armed Forces was very interesting. Some four batches of Army Recruits were rushed for training between June and December 2016. A final Army Batch was due for medical examinations alongside their Naval and Air Force counterparts when the change of government was effected on 7th January 2017. After an initial suspension of the programme during the Transitional period, the potential recruits for the three services (Army, Navy and Airforce) were allowed to undertaken the medical examinations. They have; indeed, all completed the medical examinations and are to commence training any moment in July or August 2017. We are reliably told that His Excellency the President did not want a repeat of the 2009 cancellation of training. That was a real hallmark of a “Father of the Nation”.
In the case of the 420 Potential Army Recruits (and several other hundreds for the 2nd Batch Army, Navy and Air Force) in 2009, they had been issued with letters to report for training on Sunday 30th January and had reported at the EL- wak stadium for embarkation to the Army Recruit Training School at Shai Hills when the NDC government suspended and eventually cancelled the exercise.
The danger in this magnanimous act of the President is that he is rather entrenching the fact of the NDC and NPP soldiers (military men and women). The reason is that Colonel Vander-Pallen who was and still is in charge of the Directorate of Military Records was directed to ensure that the list was predominantly NDC biased.
Our sources indicate that he has reported to his masters in the NDC that the “job has been done to perfection” and is a hero in the NDC fraternity.
This is where, Mr. President, we have problems with your “unilateral cease fire”. The NDC have not responded, are not responding and will never respond to your unilateral actions or calls for “unity” (Nkabom) within the security services and in the nation.
The NDC thrives on confusion, disunity, divide and rule, propaganda, pull-him-down and the best for themselves.
A few examples about some of the postings, appointments and promotions in the Ghana Armed Forces during the NDC era will suffice to show that, Your Excellency, may be deceived into thinking that there is fairness in the system and for that matter there are no NDC nor NPP soldiers. One major illustration is as follows:
A deliberate and conscious effort was made by the NDC administration to project one particular female officer over all others in order to let her score “firsts” in several ways. She was made the first female Commanding Officer of the Ghana Armed Forces during the regime of Jerry Rawlings in the 2nd NDC term of Constitutional rule (between 1997 and 2001).
Then came the 3rd and 4th NDC terms of Constitutional rules between 2009 and 2017 and she was deliberately prepared for two more firsts- first to be appointed as Deputy MILAD in New York where she and her boss left only $35 and first to be promoted Brigadier General during the infamous NDC administration of John Mahama.
This is a female officer who holds no real professional or academic competences and yet has been projected unfairly over real professionals in the Medical Services who combined professionalism with academic prowess. The highest qualification of the now Brigadier General in her own field is “Passed Public and Non-Public Accounts” and “Passed Accountant Al” courses in the military which have no professional comparables.
In this age, when even Junior Ranks and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) could boast of first and second degrees in her own Corps And Regiment, she is relying only on “ first first” glories aptly destined for the 19th and 20th centuries and not the 21st century of enlightenment, knowledge and global information
Her so-called achievements may be compared with those of a professional Nursing Officer (Nurse, Midwife) who has equally gone on all the military courses as the over hyped empty General and in addition holds first and second degrees in addition to her professional license. She has been recognized and awarded various prices within the Nursing and Midwifery fraternity and other National Award schemes and yet never caught the eyes of the military authorities owing to unjustified politicization and ethnocentrism. Sadly, this gem of a female officer who started her brilliance at the Ghana Military Academy, has been released from the service at a time that her organogram (that of the Medical Services of the Ghana Armed Forces) permitted and permits her promotion to the rank of a Brigadier General as well.
But, what was never to be as the Ametepis and Agbekas conspired with the Biekros, Beick-Baffours and Akou-Adjeis to deny her what she really deserved and deserves.
Brigadier General Ametepi, who has overstayed his compulsory retirement, found justification for promoting then Colonel Agbeka to the rank of a Brigadier General to a non-existing or yet-to-be completed Military Hospital in Kumasi but resisted all attempts to promote Colonel Vida Otoo to the rank of Brigadier General as the Departmental Head for Nursing because she was perceived to be a member or sympathizer of the NPP.
Today, she is on the retirement, not rewarded for all the sacrifices she made at the 37 Military Hospital and at the Medical Directorate fighting for the best for the Medical and Nursing Services. What an injustice!!
We are informed that the Ghana Armed Forces have submitted the name of over hyped empty Brigadier General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu for national awards as part of the 60th Independence Anniversary Celebrations. As a prelude to that her “home citizens” have hurriedly arranged for an award for her in the Volta Region.
Again, the “AGLOW” group is sponsoring her for various awards. Oh what a world!! Colonel Vida Otoo is also extremely prayerful and a member of the same AGLOW and yet because of partisan politics she cannot find favour and be given what she than deserves. But the Good Lord “knows best” and her day will surely come one day.
Today, Brigadier General CE Edjeani-Afenu, who has always been a member of the NDC is hiding behind her elder sister’s membership of the NPP to claim her rights. What an unjust world order!!
It is for these reasons that PACOM is pleading with His Excellency the President to thread cautiously for there are NDC and NPP soldiers still in the system.