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NDC, Stop The Tribal War (1)

We are compelled by some lunatic effusions from some pro-NDC newspapers to set some records straight as far as appointments, promotions and recruitments are concerned in the Ghana Armed Forces.

For any newspaper worth its credibility and integrity to carry a caption that “Military Academy Rules Broken To Accept 30-year old as Ewes and some Northerners Become Marginalized 3rd Class Citizens” shows that it has lost its focus and has become extremely desperate.

That report is so full of lies, inaccuracies, deceit, propaganda and hate statements that only typical NDC propagandists and destroyers can write such falsely concocted stories. Instead of feeling ashamed and guilty of what they did in 2009 and thereafter, owing to their senses of vindictiveness, wickedness, ethnocentrism, political vendetta, treachery and hypocrisy, the NDC wants to turn the scales in their favour through lies, fabrications and propaganda.

In their desperate attempt to do an “equalization” of the two transitional periods (2009 NPP handing over power to NDC and 2017 NDC handing over to NPP), the destroying teeth have shot over the bar and are threatening the stability of the country.

The first allegation of that report states that “under the watch of the current Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Obed Akwa, only Akans are being put in most sensitive positions to the chagrin of all the other tribes”. This statement is completely false.

We are reproducing the sensitive positions of the Ghana Armed Forces as left by the NDC on 7th January 2017 so that we can compare it with the situation as at the time of that false publication on Wednesday October 11 to Thursday October 12 2017 in order to put it in the right perspective.

Mr. John Mahama had made the following appointments in the Ghana Armed Forces in 2016 before the December elections:

Chief of Defence Staff-Air Marshal M Samson-Oje, Chief of Army Staff-Major General OB Akwa, Chief of Naval Staff-Rear Admiral PK Faidoo, Chief of Air Staff-Air Vice Marshal MM Nagai, Chief of Staff-Major General SK Adeti, Commandant MATS-Major General WA Ayamdo, Commandant GAFCSC-Rear Admiral S Amoama, Commandant KAIPTC-Air Vice Marshal GS Evans, GOC Southern Command-Brigadier General M Whajah, GOC Central Command-Brigadier General CB Alhassan, GOC Northern Command-Brigadier General SB Alloh, FOC Western Naval Command-Commodore SVA Coomson, FOC Eastern Naval Command-Commodore M Beick-Baffour, Base Commander AFB Accra-Group Captain FA Bekoe, Base Commander AFB Tamale-Group Captain F Hanson, Base Commander AFB Takoradi-Group Captain FA Asante, Chief Staff Officer Army HQ-Brigadier General-T Oppong-Peprah, Chief Staff Officer Naval HQ- Naval Commodore S Walker, Chief Staff Officer Airforce HQ-Air Commodore AA Appiah, Director General JOPS GHQ-Brigadier General NK Kporku, Director General (Logistics) GHQ- Air Commodore Dzamefe, Director General Plans and Development GHQ-Air Commodore IR Wayoe, Director General Personnel Administration-Brigadier General W Omane-Agyekum, Director General IPSO- Brigadier General CKAA Awity, Director General Training –Commodore E Adu, Director General Medical –Brigadier General RK Ametepi, Director General Defence Industries Department- Brigadier General NP Andoh, Director General Defence Intelligence-Brigadier General AK Adu, Director General Inspector General’s Department-Brigadier General STM Osabutey, Director General Communications and Information Systems-Brigadier General Appiah-Kubi, Special Legal Adviser to the CDS-Brigadier General MKG Asante, Military Secretary-Brigadier General CK Gyasensir, Defence Financial Controller-Brigadier General AK Dzisi, Judge Advocate General-Brigadier General EDEM Fiawoo, NADMO Director General-Brigadier General F Vib-Sanziri, Commander Support Services Brigade-Brigadier General F Ofori, Commander 37 Military Hospital-Brigadier General EC Saka, Commander Kumasi Military Hospital-Brigadier General CK Agbeka, Commander Army Trg Comd-Brigadier General SMKAE Ayer, Commander GMA (MATS)-Brigadier General MN Akpatsu, Deputy Comdt MATS-Brigadier General F Buliga, Deputy Comdt GAFCSC-Brigadier General AK Boimah, Deputy Comdt KAIPTC-Brigadier General EW Kotia, Assistant Comdt GAFCSC(Jnr Div)- Brigadier General INA Aryetey, Director Nursing (GHQ Med)-Colonel Mercy Yelbert, Director EME GHQ (EME)-Colonel A Issahaku, Commanding Officer Forces Pay Regiment-Colonel  S Babilah, Director Manpower Planning –Colonel SK Adorkor, PGSO Ministry of Defence-Commodore Asante Bonsu Osei, Special Aide to MOD-Brigadier General CE Edjeani-Afenu, Army Liason to MOD-Colonel SK Adorkor, Airforce Liasion to MOD-Group Captain FK Kudoh, Deputy DG Defence Intelligence-Colonel RJK Komlaga, Deputy DG PA-Colonel MM Aryee, Deputy DG Logistics-Colonel SK Lawerh, Director Military Records-Colonel J Vander-Pallen, Provost Marshal-Colonel EK Commey, Director Tel Tech Engr (DCIS)-Colonel  A Ntem, D OPINT, GHQ(DI)-Colonel M Mustapha and Director Communications- Colonel A Alobawone, among others.

There were and are still several appointments and positions in the Ghana Armed Forces that the Mahama Administration bequeathed to the Nana Akufo-Addo Administration. One of them is the position of Forces Sergeant Major which Major General SK Adeti, by virtue of his appointment as the Chief of Staff, handpicked an Ewe who was on retirement to occupy against all acceptable norms and best practices.

All previous appointments of Forces Sergeant Major, with the exceptions of the late Frimpong (Red Light) and James Cole, who were all appointed by Jerry Rawlings, had been done through competitive processes and procedures.

Additionally, in July 2016 (specially 1st July 2016), the Mahama Administration appointed the following officers for diplomatic duties:

Brigadier General IM Tetteh-DA London, UK, Brigadier General RY Odoi-MILAD, New York, USA, Brigadier General JA Boampong-DA, Beijing, China, Brigadier General A Abu-DMNAA, Washington DC, USA, Brigadier General AK Yeboah-DA, Adis Ababa, Ethiopia, Colonel JFNK Freeman-Deputy MILAD, USA, Commodore MRN Yawson-DA Abuja, Nigeria, Air Commodore JYM Nyadodui-DA New Delhi, India, Group Captain (GN) FA Nyarko, Deputy DA, London and Group Captain EK Arneson-DA, Cairo, Egypt

In the case of the officers selected for diplomatic duties, most of them left the shores of Ghana in December 2016 and January 2017 just before the handing/taking over between Presidents John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo. They feared that they would not be allowed to take their appointments as happened in January 2009. In order to put readers in the right perspective, on 8th January 2009, the NDC Administration cancelled the postings and appointments of all those selected by the Kufuor Administration to go on diplomatic duties. Thereafter all the Akans from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions were dropped and in their places Ewes were appointed.

Interestingly, the Ewes and Northerners selected by the Kufuor Administration were retained. Some of the Akans dropped included Brigadier General K Oppong-Otchere, Commodore Darbo, Group Captain Dwamena-Mante and Colonel K Damoah. In their places were appointed the Gborglahs who were then the “kingmakers”.

Obviously, the NDC was afraid that a similar thing was going to be done by the Akufo-Addo Administration. But that did not happen and all the NDC appointees are still at post at the various diplomatic locations. That is the difference between a wise nationalist leader and a wicked, vindictive, ethnocentric and politically biased leader.

On the issue of the NPP Administration of Nana Akufo-Addo “putting only Akans in most sensitive command positions to the chagrin of all the other tribes”, the least said about it the better as the facts do not support it at all.

The current command structure really is an all embracing one. The NPP Administration of Nana Akufo-Addo has not disturbed much what was left behind by President John Mahama. Unless the NDC wants to say that the command appointments they left behind went to Akans then that allegation would and could not fly.

For instance, as at date the only Senior Military officers whose positions or appointments have been “taken away” from them by the Akufo-Addo Administration are those of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal M Samson-Oje and the former Chief of Staff, Major General SK Adeti. There is no point belabouring the case of the Chief of Defence Staff.

Every sensible and well informed person knows that the position of Chief of Defence Staff is the prerogative of an incumbent President. So just as in January 2009, the Mills/Mahama Administration used their prerogative power to retire Lieutenant General JB Danquah and replaced him with then Major General PA Blay, in February 2017, in the wisdom of the Akufo-Addo Administration, the voluntary retirements of Mr. Kudalor and Air Marshal M Samson-Oje as IGP and Chief of Defence Staff respectively were accepted.

The difference between what happened in January 2009 and February 2017 is that, the Mills/Mahama Administration retired the two key appointment holders in the Ghana Police and Military compulsorily (thus intiative from government) while the Akufo-Addo Administration accepted the voluntary retirement of the two key personalities (thus initiative from the individual officers).

All objective right thinking members of Ghana who witnessed the behavior, conduct, utterances and actions of the IGP and the CDS before, during and after the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections would understand why the two appointment holders tendered in their voluntary retirements. The two had seriously compromised their positions and were obviously part of the NDC political party and had rendered their continuous tenure of office highly untenable by their own conduct. Their integrity as professionals had been compromised.

Similarly, the behavior, conduct, actions and utterances of Major General SK Adeti had given his positions away as an active member of the NDC who had gone beyond the normal threshold in protecting the integrity, neutrality and professionalism of the Ghana Armed Forces in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. He was virtually in bed with the Electoral Commission to rig the elections in favour of the NDC and John Mahama. Members of the military observed his conduct, actions and utterances and he himself knew that his appointment was no longer tenable after the change in government on 7th January 2017.

Fortunately for him, he is still in active service and efforts are seriously underway to get him a befitting appointment commensurate with his rank. Obviously after the position of Chief of Staff, the only befitting appointments are Service Commander and Chief of Defence Staff. The other possible appointments are offers from the International Organizations such as United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS.

Unfortunately, he is yet to be offered an appointment notwithstanding the efforts being made by the NPP Administration to get him one. It may be of interest to the Andy Kankams and Koku Anyidohos to know that he is being considered for an Ambassadorial Appointment by the NPP Administration.

Would the NDC have done that? Did they care about the numerous officers that they hurriedly retired compulsorily in 2009, 2010 and beyond?

For instance, did the NDC Administration of President Mills (a Fanti) think about Brigadier General R Winful who was the last Chief of Staff of the Kufour Administration? He was found to be politically incorrect. Was Brigadier General George Amamoo (another Fanti ), who was found to be more NDC politically correct, not posted to Washington DC, USA as the Defence, Military, Naval and Air Attache (DMNAA) in place of Brigadier General K Oppong-Otchere (an Akim)?

Brigadier General George Amamoo had worked as a Staff Officer to the Chief of Staff, PNDC in the days of Colonels Baryeh and EKT Donkor and was therefore a well known member of the NDC.

It is worthy to note that the NPP Administration of Nana Akufo-Addo has virtually maintained, and not disturbed, the “sensitive command structure” left behind by John Mahama

Firstly, John Mahama had appointed then Major General OB Akwa as the Chief of Army Staff in July 2016 in place of Major General Opoku-Adusei. The hawks in the NDC had preferred the likes of Adeti, Adokpa and Boimah to then Major General OB Akwa as they were dyed in the wool NDC compliant.

The three officers were all active supporters of the PNDC as young officers in Tamale and Accra (Remember that both Adeti and Adokpa were in 6th Battalion as Lieutenants and Captains during the PNDC era, while Boimah was always with the Forces Reserve Battalion (FRB) which is now the 64thInfantry Regiment) and were therefore considered to be more loyal to the NDC as Ewes and active members of P/NDC.

However, some sanity and cool head prevailed over the pig heads and it was considered to be politically suicidal and unhelpful in an election year to remove an Akan General, as Chief of Army Staff, and replace him with an Ewe General. Thus, Major General OB Akwa had become a compromise candidate, most suitably qualified for such a high caliber appointment in the Army in an election year. The NDC analysts and “think tanks” considered the fact that General OB Akwa worked loyally also for General JH Smith as his Deputy and Substantive Army Secretary during the era of President Jerry Rawlings.

Additionally it was while General JH Smith (an old student of Achimota School) was the Chief of Army Staff that then Colonel OB Akwa was appointed the Military Assistant to Dr Kwame Addo-Kufour (also an old boy of Achimota). Fortunately, owing to his humility, respectfulness, loyalty, professionalism and God fearing nature, he was appointed the ADC to President Kufour after Brigadier General Adjei was posted to the office of DA London, UK.

Interestingly, the NDC papers are now accusing the current Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gen OB Akwa, who they had found as politically correct to appoint as Chief of Army Staff in July 2016, as the one under whose watch “only Akans are being put in most sensitive Command Positions to the chagrin of all the other tribes

The discredited NDC papers went further to state that “the marginalization and stinking discrimination against Ewes and Northerners”, in particular, is very manifest in the areas of promotions and appointments. They continued by saying that “for very obvious anti- Ewe/Northerner reasons, very senior officers from these two ethnic groups have been relegated and reduced to occupying very obscure and irrelevant offices.”

No right thinking person will be surprised about these effusions from the NDC. They always accuse their political opponents of what they do or would have done if they had the opportunity. The very strategies that they used between January 2009 and January 2017 are haunting them and therefore they are pointing the mirror at the NPP instead of themselves to see the destruction they have caused in the Ghana Armed Forces.

We would demonstrate pretty soon the fallacy, hypocrisy and double standards of the NDC for all and sundry to know their evil intentions especially when they threaten that “we just pray that we do not lose our cool because if we do, what will happen in the barracks will be worse than what happened during June 4th 1979 because this open tribalism of the military cannot be allowed to continue unabated ….” What a dangerous threat!!!

Before we do the demonstration to prove that Ewes and Northerners have not at all been “marginalized, relegated and reduced to occupying obscure and irrelevant offices” we would like to point out to the Andy Kankams and Koku Anyidohos that the era of intimidation, oppression, suppression and impunity are over. The NDC should never think that only cowards join the NPP or are in the military.

The “inferno” promised by disgraced General Arnold Quainoo (in Liberia) never happened in Ghana. It took just one Akan, Professor Adu Boahen, (soft spoken, gentle, humble, knowledgeable and brave intellectual) to deflate his evil machinations. There will be more Adu Boahens to meet any such threats in any battle or protracted war should the vampires, cannibals and criminally-minded confusionists start any “fire”.

It is also worrying at this age and era that the Andy Kankams are talking of “tribes”. Our Constitution detests discrimination along tribal lines. The Constitution rather promotes and encourages Regional and Gender Balances in public offices. That is why Presidents are obliged to appoint Ministers of State from all the ten regions irrespective of the voting pattern.

For instance, even though in the December 2016 elections, the NPP had only one seat in Parliament from the Volta Region, the President had to appoint Cabinet and other Ministers from the Volta Region.

A similar thing happened in 2000 when the NPP failed to win any seats in the Upper West and Volta Regions and yet appointed Cabinet and other Ministers from the two Regions.

Now, back to the baseless allegations of open tribalization of the military under the NPP Administration of Nana Akuffo-Addo. Firstly, the President elevated General OB Akwa (who had been appointed by John Mahama), as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)) to the highest office in the military as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

Does he deserve it or not? Certainly he deserves it. Even though he was appointed the COAS on 7th July 2016, six (6) months after the Chiefs of Naval and Air Staff, Rear Admiral Faidoo and Air Vice Marshal Nagai respectively had been appointed by John Mahama in place of Rear Admiral Biekro and AVM Samson-Oje respectively, he had always been senior to Faidoo and Nagai until the appointments on 4th January 2016.

If the Andy Kankams and those who think like them would care to know, then Major General OB Akwa had been promoted to the status of two-star General on 28th June 2013 by the NDC Administration of John Mahama. Thus, General OB Akwa had been a Major General for over two years before the likes of Faidoo and Nagai were promoted to the equivalents of that rank in January 2016.

Again, General OB Akwa had originally been senior to even the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, until then Air Commodore Samson-Oje was appointed the Chief of Air Staff by the Mills/Mahama Administration on 31st March 2009.

If they would care to know, General OB Akwa was commissioned as an Infantry Officer on 24th March 1977 as part of Regular Intake 18 (RCC 18) while Air Marshal Samson –Oje was commissioned on 16th June 1978 (more than a year later) as a member of Regular Intake 19 (RCC 19).

It may interest the Andy Kankams to know also that Air Vice Marshal Maxwell Mantserbi-Tei Nagai (GH/1909) was commissioned on 25th April 1980 as part of Regular Intake 21 (RCC 21) while Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo (GH/1970) was commissioned on 31st July, 1981 as part of Regular Intake 22 (RCC 22). The two chiefs were promoted Commodores on 20th December 2011 and 20th December 2012 respectively when General OB Akwa had been promoted Brigadier General on 31st December 2008, three clear years ahead of the closest of the two.

We believe that with these facts and statistics the pig heads would agree that General OB Akwa deserved to be elevated to the status of CDS with the commensurate rank of Lieutenant General.

In place of General OB Akwa, the NPP Administration appointed Major General WA Ayamdo (GH/1954), who had been made the Commandant MATS by the Mahama Administration, as the Chief of Army Staff.

Obviously, General WA Ayamdo was the next seniormost Army Officer after General OB Akwa and it was only proper that he was given that appointment on merit and also to demonstrate the good faith of the NPP, in ensuring as much as possible, that there is “Regional Balance” in their appointments.

General Ayamdo and Rear Admiral Faidoo were all commissioned on 31st July 1981 as members of RCC 22. He was also promoted Brigadier General on 20th December, 2012 just as Rear Admiral Faidoo.

General Ayamdo had part of his military training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the UK just as General OB Akwa. He is a Ranger by dint of hardwork and professional development. Moreover, he attended the War College at the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in the UK. He had held various appointments including CO 64 Infantry Regiment and Director General Defence Intelligence under both the previous NPP Administrations of Presidents Kufour and John Mahama between 2001 and 2016. Besides he is a Northerner from the Upper East Region.

We do not have to belabor the point that the NPP Administration has retained AVM Nagai and Rear Admiral PK Faidoo  (who were all appointed by President Mahama) as the Chiefs of Air Staff and Naval Staff respectively. For their “regional balance status” AVM Nagai is a Krobo (GA-Adangbe) from the Eastern Region while Rear Admiral PK Faidoo combines both Central and Volta Regions as part of his regional balance status.

The next topmost position in the military after the CDS and Service Chiefs is the appointment of Chief of Staff. That appointment was given to now Rear Admiral M Beick-Baffour, who was commissioned on 29th June 1984 as part of Regular Intake 24 (RCC 24), in place of Major General SK Adeti of Regular Intake 23 (RCC 23).

It is important to note that both Major General SK Adeti and Rear Admiral M Beick-Baffour are from the Volta Region. The pig heads in the NDC prefer to use “tribes” (which is being discouraged for obvious reasons) instead of Regions.

Rear Admiral Beick-Baffour had been the Military Secretary of the Armed Forces for over three years before he was appointed the FOC Eastern Naval Command, Tema on 1st July 2016 by the NDC Administration of President John Mahama. This shows that the NPP Administration of Nana Akufo-Addo respected the command structure of the three services (Army, Navy and Airforce) as inherited from the NDC on 7th January 2017.

Thus the topmost command structure of the Ghana Armed Forces today has an Akan as CDS, a Northerner as the Chief of Army Staff, a Ga-Adangbe as the Chief of Air Staff, a half-half Fanti and Ewe (Central and Volta Region) as the Chief of Naval Staff and a Voltarian as the Chief of Staff. If distribution of command at the topmost reflects the major “ethnic” and “regional balances” what else should be done to satisfy the Andy Kankams and their likes?

Moreover, after these powerful appointments (i.e. CDS, COAS, CNS, CAS and COS) the next in hierarchy in terms of rank structure, are the Commandants of the Training Schools. There are three training schools namely Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS), Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) and Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Center (KAIPTC) all located in Teshie. The NDC Administration had appointed Major General WA Ayamdo, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama and Air Vice Marshal GS Evans respectively to those Training Schools as their Commandants.

With the elevation of Major General WA Ayamdo to the position and the appointment of COAS, a vacancy had been created that needed to be filled as a matter of urgency. The mantle fell on then Bigadier General W Omane- Agyekum (GH/2065).  General W Omane-Agyekum and Rear Admiral Beick- Baffour (GH/2073) were mates and commissioned on the same date 29th June 1984 as members of Regular Intake 24 (RCC 24).

General W Omane-Agyekum was the Director General Personnel Administration as at 7th January 2017.With his mate being elevated to the status of Chief of Staff with promotion to the rank of two-star General (Rear Admiral), it was only fair that as an Infantry Army Officer General W Omane-Agyekum also got the appointment of Commandant MATS which is predominantly a conglomerate of Army schools.

The two Commandants (of GAFCSC and KAIPTC) were also maintained by His Excellency Nana Akufo- Addo.  Of the two, one is an Akan and the other is a Voltarian. In these circumstances, can any right-thinking person assert that the NPP Administration has marginalized, relegated and reduced Ewe and Northerners to occupying very obscure and irrelevant offices? The answer is a BIG No.

Are those reckless accusations not an affront to the positions of the Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia and Honorable Dominic Nitiwul the Defence Minister who are automatic members of the Armed Forces Council?

How can any right thinking person think that two very powerful “Northerners” (one the Vice President and the other Defence Minister) would superintend and callously see to the extinction of “Northerners” from sensitive command positions in the Ghana Armed Forces?

Perhaps,  the only challenge that the two “Northerners” face is the fact that the NDC had skewed the Military Command and staff appointments already in favour of the Ewes (preferred appellation should be  persons from the Volta Region (voltarians)) and to some extent the Northerners, in most cases to the disadvantage (and perhaps chagrin) of the “Akans” (who come from the Ashanti ,Brong Ahafo Central, Eastern and Western Regions) as compared to “Northerners”(from Upper East, Upper West and Northern Region) and Ewes (from only the Volta Region).

In all these permutations, the NDC pig heads only bring in the Ga –Adangbe and others as and when it fits into their typical divide-and rule tactics. They have tried since the PNDC era to divide the Akans (Ashantis against Brongs, Fantis against Ashantis,Akyems against Ashantis, the Sefwis against Ashantis, Nzemas against Ashantis and Guans against Ashantis) with some success owing to misinformation, lies and propaganda. But it must stop or be stopped

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