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Tension In Burma Camp (3)

Members of the Patriotic Concerned Officers and Men (PACOM) continue to express their misgivings about the current occupants of the various command and staff appointments in the Ghana Armed Forces.

Command and Staff Officers to the Military High Command, (the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, the Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Staff), the General Headquarters, Service Headquarters, the Airforce Base Accra, the Headquarters of the Support Services Brigade Group, strategic units such as the fifth Battalion, 64 Infantry Regiment, the Recce Regiment, powerful Logistics units and Combat Service Support units and installations such as the Defence Mechanical and Transport Battalion, Base Supply Depot, Base Workshop, Forces Pay Regiment, the Defence Signal Regiment and many others are all active members of the NDC.

Unfortunately, most of the leaderships of these Headquarters, Departments, Directorates, Bases, Units and Sub-units are controlled by NDC members/sympathizers/Agents.

Typically characteristic of the NDC, the Mills/Mahama Administration did not waste any time in strengthening its capacity in the Ministry of Defence and the Ghana Armed Forces by ridding the system of all officers perceived to be NPP loyalists thereby creating vacancies which they quickly filled with their loyalists, members and agents.

The air of change was seen right from January 2009 when the late President Mills took over. By Monday 26th January 2009, the first axe had fallen on the Chief of Defence Staff, General JB Danquah. The CDS and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kwarteng Acheampong were hurriedly summoned to the Osu Castle and relieved of their appointments after former President Rawlings had charged the Mills Administration the previous week ending 23rd January 2009 to change the heads of the Security Services.

Before these two major changes, Lieutenant Colonel AK Gbevlo-Lartey, popularly called Larry, had taken over as the Security Coordinator in an aggressively Rambo style from Dr. Amo Ghartey immediately after the Second Round Presidential election results had been announced by Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan on Tuesday 30th December 2008.

Dr. Amo Ghartey had cowardly abandoned the ship before it begun sinking thereby facilitating the manipulation of the results of the Presidential Run-Off on 28th December and the Tain Constituency Re-Run on Friday 2nd January 2009.

The NDC were in a hurry to take over all the Security Services in an effective and crude manner. They were looking for only their loyalists to take over from the NPP Administration. No amount of persuasion or lobbying for the retention of professional security senior officers was to be entertained. The NDC elements of all ranks had effectively taken over the command, staff and administration of the forces.

There were all sorts of groupings of NDC elements in the Security Services charging for the removal and retirement of senior officers perceived to be NPP sympathizers or members. Thus, there were groups of Generals, Colonels (full and half), Majors, Captains and even Lieutenants, who pushed for various agenda in an aggressive and concerted effort to enable the Mills/Mahama Administration to take absolute control of the strategic and tactical units, installations and Bases.

In the Ghana Armed Forces, the removal of General JB Danquah paved the way for the “military genocide” that was to take place in 2009 and 2010.. General JB Danquah (CDS) and Mr. Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong (IGP) were directed to hand over their duties within three days. Consequently, by 28th January 2009, the two “Security Capos” had handed over to designated senior officers in “Acting Capacities”.

In the case of the Ghana Armed Forces, Rear Admiral AR Sampana Nuno (GH/1308), the substantive Chief of Naval Staff, was made to act as the Chief of Defence Staff while in the Ghana Police Service, Mrs. Mills Roberson, (occupant of one of the Deputy IGP positions created by President Kufuor) was made the Acting Inspector General of Police.

In the case of the Ghana Armed Forces, Major General SA Odotei (GH/1368), the then Chief of Army Staff had been tipped (he had lobbied extensively and intensively for the CDS appointment) to be made the CDS with promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General.

Unfortunately, “Uncle Sammy”, who had worked tirelessly for the NDC to win power with the support of Generals Okyere and Adinkrah as General Officers Commanding (GOCs) of the Northern and Southern Commands of the Ghana Army respectively, was denied that opportunity.

He and some others, appointed by the NPP Administration of President Kufuor into important positions, had turned their backs to the NPP when it mattered most. They could not guarantee the visit of President Kufuor to the Tain Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region for the re-run.

For that and other reasons, General SA Odotei had very high hopes of becoming the CDS.

In the end, he was the only member of that Military High Command given an ambassadorial appointment as the High Commissioner to Namibia.

Brigadier General Emmanuel Okyere also had very high hopes of becoming either the Chief of Defence Staff or the Chief of Army Staff because of the role he played to facilitate NDC victory in the Presidential Run-off on 28th December 2008 and the Tain Re-Run on Friday 2nd January 2009.

Interestingly, around that same time, Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah was lamenting openly over his inability to get his recommended persons appointed to fill the various appointments in the Security Services, especially in the Ghana Armed Forces.

According to General Nunoo-Mensah, if he mentioned this officer’s name, the NDC hawks would remark that “he is either not on our side or is with the other side”. According to General Nunoo-Mensah, that was making it difficult for him to get very professionally upright, competent, experienced and skillful officers to take over from the NPP appointees.

Eventually, in the case of the Ghana Armed Forces, then Brigadier General PA Blay (then Defence Advisor to Abuja, Nigeria) was rewarded and appointed the CDS with the rank of Major General in 2009. In the places of Major General SA Odotei, Rear Admiral ARS Nuno and Air Vice Marshal JO Boateng were appointed Major General JN Adinkrah, Rear Admiral M Quashie (GH/1509) and Air Vice Marshal M Samson-Oje respectively.

In the case of the Ghana Police Service, Mrs. Mills Robertson had to give way to Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye as the IGP.

The “military genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” then started in earnest after March 2009. Several Akan and Non-Akan officers perceived to be NPP supporters/members/sympathizers were released from the Ghana Armed Forces in batches.

The first batch released after May 2009 included Generals E Okyere, R Debrah, JS Nkrumah, R Winful, JK Forkuo, H Nana-Acheampong, K Oppong-Kyekueku, CK Ocran, RO Sackey, M Owusu-Ababio, K Oppong-Otchere, J Kwankye, DK Frimpong. Commodores AB Addision, TS Appiah, SK Darbo, BF Asante. Colonels Y Boafo-Mensah, JK Kumah, EN Opoku, MD Boampong, DO Boateng, K Damoah, C Akyiaa-Gambrah, K Osei-Kwadwo, S Agyekum-Yamoah, AK Appiah-Agyapong, AK Asare, AE Mensah, CB Ankomah, JF Manu among others and Lieutenant Colonels A Adjaye-Gaisie, P Opoku-Frimpong, EB Asrifi, Ababio Serebour, N Ofosu-Anim; Captain (Ghana Navy) K Ankamah; Wing Commander CK Eshun; Group Captain A Ansu-Gyeabour and Group Captain JEK Ankrah among others.

Most of the Akan officers were deliberately made to go on compulsory retirement on account of age after they had been denied appointments that would have guaranteed them promotions to the next higher ranks.

Most of the affected Akan officers were better qualified in terms of professional developments, abilities, competences, skills, academic and military qualifications than the mediocre ones appointed and promoted into existing and created vacancies. All these “chest games” were to victimize persons with Akan names perceived to be NPP sympathizers while projecting and glorifying the non-Akans and rewarding them for loyalty to the NDC or to ensure continuous loyalty to the umbrella fraternity.

Even though the Media Commission in its ruling against our editor and paper thinks that there were no pieces of evidence to support the allegations of “military genocide against Akans” by the NDC, we dare say that we did not use just names but useful information from the records of these officers at the Directorate of Military Records, the respective Service Headquarters and the Training Institutions from forms/records filled by the officers concerned themselves.

We promise that in the next-too-distant future, we may be compelled to publish the names, home towns and tribes of some of these officers as captured from their records to clear the air once and for all. We are also not unmindful of the fact that some Akans may use not-too-obvious Akan names while some Non Akans also use very typical Akan names such as Awuah, Agyapong, Prempeh, Osei, Ofori, Asabiri, Asiamah, Owusu, Anane and Boateng.

Thus, our categorization of an officer as an Akan is based on reality, facts and evidence but not on conjectures, assumptions and fabrications. We state emphatically that all the names mentioned in this edition referring to the officers as Akans or Non-Akans are based on evidence which may be adduced even in a court of competent jurisdiction.

It is quite surprising but usual and characteristic of the NDC, that the NDC is crying wolf when there is none. The NDC has been trumpeting discrimination against its members and supporters since January 7 2017. Conscious of what they (NDC) did in 2009 after wrestling power from the NPP and fearing that the NPP may retaliate, the NDC started their defensive actions by raining attacks and insults (offensive actions) on the NPP over non-existent and non- comparable offences or infractions.

As soon as His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo started exercising his constitutional mandate by making appointments that are his exclusive prerogative, the NDC and its members started complaining bitterly about that. The Chairman of the NDC, Kofi Portuphy, the General Secretary, Aseidu Nketiah, Koku Anyidoho, Kofi Adams and several others started the accusations of witch hunting, failure to protect jobs of Ghanaians and insensitivity to the plight of ordinary Ghanaians and NDC members.

Oh ye hypocrites in the NDC!! You have soon forgotten that both NDC Presidents (Mills and Mahama) exercised the same constitutional mandate in a more inhuman, callous and discriminatory way. In terms of numbers and regional balance, the Mills/Mahama Administration were worst of all.

For instance, compare the number of Generals, Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels and their equivalents in the Navy and the Airforce who were released by the Mills/Mahama Administration with the current one. Most of the officers released were from Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions. The officers from the NDC World Bank were untouchable and were the kingmakers who decided the fate of officers and men. Various groups of NDC officers met planned and implemented the policy of attrition.

Thus, the Dovlos, Biekros, Adokpas, Fiawoos, Adetis, Lawsons, Gbekles, Nutakors, Leba-Kamanyas, Quists, EMK Yeboahs (Nyebro), Fianyas, Assems, Akou-Adjeis, Beick-Baffours, Adams, Iddrisus, Fuseinis, Seidus, Attintandes, Nibos, Ametepis, Agbekas, Agbenohorvis, Nyarkos, Edjeanis, Ntems, Selassies, Santrofis, Faidoos and Vander-Pallens were part of the overlapping sub committees on NDC welfare and NPP attrition.

Owing to the treachery, viciousness and callousness of these sub committees, well thought out strategies and tactics were evolved, reviewed and implemented in phases by the NDC to coincide with dates of birth of the affected officers.

Can any person of integrity, conscience and objectivity compare what the NDC did to what the NPP is doing?

For instance, so far in the Ghana Armed Forces only the former Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Staff have been relieved of their appointments. All other key appointment holders are keeping their posts/positions intact.

For the avoidance of any doubt, one of the Service Chiefs appointed by John Mahama in July 2016 was elevated to the status of Chief of Defence Staff. The two remaining Service Chiefs (Chief of Naval and Air Staff) have been retained by President Akufo-Addo. All the Commandants of the three Institutions have also been retained. The Commandant of MATS, Major General WA Ayamdo has also been elevated to the status of Chief of Army Staff to replace Lieutenant General OB Akwa.

The Base Commanders in the Navy and Airforce have also virtually been maintained with minor changes following the appointment of the FOC Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Beick-Baffour as the Chief of Staff in place of Major General SK Adeti.

In the Army, two of the three General Officers Commanding (GOCs) of the Northern and Central Commands have been maintained. It is significant to note that both of them are known NDC card bearing members and yet President Akufo-Addo in the real spirit of father for all has maintained them.

The Commanding Officers of various units who have not lasted the minimum period of three years in command have been retained and only a few cosmetic changes have been made. Do people in the NDC remember what was done to the Commanding Officers believed to be NPP sympathizers in the early part of 2009?

For instance, then Lieutenant Colonels Adjaye Gaisie, Ababio Serebour (now Chief Director at the National Security Ministry), JA Aphour, AY Nsiah, E Kotia and Amoah Ayisi were removed with alacrity. Is the situation the same today? Obliviously No.

Reading the list of officers released by the NDC in 2009 and 2010, the names of Generals Okyere and Sackey featured, prominently as “victims” of NDC’s discriminatory and inhuman treatment of perceived political opponents.

Today the two Generals are in very powerful and influential positions and yet are the ones partnering the Kan Dapaahs and Nitiwuls to “favour” NDC officers to the detriment of NPP officers. Very loyal, brilliant and professionally upright Akan officers are not being considered for command appointments while known NDC members and sympathizers have been given very strategic and key command and staff appointments.

Most of the logistics units are still in the hands of NDC officers of the Agbadza and Batakari fraternities while the other “Kente franternites” are weeping silently. The wish of every Teeth Arm officer is to command a Battalion or a Regiment. Most of the Akan officers were denied those appointments in the NDC era through the craftiness of the Akou-Adjeis and Beick-Baffours.

Yet, under the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo the same Akan officers could not be considered for same or similar command and staff appointments. Thus, the Akan officers are suffering from an unfair treatment of double jeopardy while their colleague NDC officers are enjoying double advantages. Is that fair and just?? No.

Can that practice continue like that? No. When should the practice be changed or varied to balance interests of all as the doctrines rules of law, equity and natural justice demand? The time is NOW. As the President rightly said during the 60th Anniversary Celebration of Ghana’s independence, he is in a hurry to develop Ghana and to address all cases of injustices in the Ghanaian society.

It is the in ability or failure of the Okyeres, Sackeys, Kan-Dapaahs Nitiwuls and Oduros to take the bulls by their horns that are fuelling the tension in Burma Camp. Does it not sound ironical that Generals Okyere and Sackey are vehemently defending the interests of these NDC officers but are not ready, willing and interested in protecting those believed to be NPP members/sympathizers and friends?

Yet, it is the sweat, energies, efforts, coordination, persuasive skills and effective leadership qualities especially over majority of the Other Ranks that enabled the NPP to humiliate the NDC at the December 2016 elections. Most of these officers never heard or felt the presence and contributions of any of the Okyeres, Sackeys and the Kan-Dapaahs who are now enjoying the fruits of the labour of the forgotten heroes (officers, men and civilian employees of the Ghana Armed Forces) when they were in the jungles, savannah thickets, on the dwarf islands, in the mountainous areas of the Volta Region, along the borders with Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo.

These forgotten heroes cannot even secure meetings with these “Super Human Beings” (because of political power) in order to vent their feelings, aspirations, hopes, disappointments and frustrations as a result of the inertia in the barracks.

It is understandably very painful for officers, men and civilian employees who worked tirelessly and diligently as part of the teamwork for Agenda 2016 (Nana Akufo- Addo’s victory) to become victims and prey for those officers, men and civilian employees who openly worked for the NDC but have been retained by NPP.

The painful aspect of the whole issue is that these NDC officers and men (one of whom is the Forces Sergeant Major who was handpicked by Major General SK Adeti) are still in authority and they are using the power vested in them to harass, victimize and ridicule the NPP officers and men.

The NDC officers and men are making mockery of their colleagues who they reckoned to have worked for the NPP but are “not enjoying” in any favours or special dispensation as they (the NDC) experienced.

In some cases husbands, wives and children of the NPP officers and men are teased by the NDC officers and men. Without or with the slightest provocation, these NDC officers and men would remind the NPP officers and men of their toil in vain.

They (the NDC) would stress that after all the efforts, time, energy and resources offered by the NPP officers, men and civilian employees, what could they show to demonstrate good faith on the part of the NPP Administration and Party.

All the major Departments and Directorates of the General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces are still in the hands of the NDC officers. For instance Joint Operations, Logistics, Training, Defence Intelligence, International Peace Support Operations, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Defence Financial Controller, Director Supply and Transport, Director Communications, Deputy Director General Defence Intelligence, Training and Logistics among others are full members of the NDC. So also is the Commanding Officer Forces Pay Regiment and the Director Procurement.

With the Chief of Staff firmly supporting and providing them with the “naval anchor”, they “fear no foe”. They are effectively in charge and are controlling matters in the Ghana Armed Forces. Most of these Departmental heads and heads of important strategic Directorates are working in concert with a view to sabotaging the efforts of the Presidency.

Some NDC officers (including Generals) make reckless statements such as “you said you wanted a change, now you have it but see how you are suffering….”

Others also remark “you have a new government as you wanted but look at the hardships that you are going through”.

In all these remarks, the NDC officers, men and civilian employees wish to conscientise the “forgotten heroes” against the NPP as a party and as an Administration. They wish to incite the ardent NPP Supporters in the barracks against the party and the government.

Fortunately, most of the “forgotten heroes” do not regret helping the NPP to power but have serious reservations about how the NPP as a party and Administration have allowed the NDC to “have its way” to be deciding the fate of NPP supporters, sympathizers and friends after the decisive vote for a change.

With the convincing vote for change, Ghanaians (officers, men and civilian employees inclusive) are demanding new and different ways of doing things and businesses. Officers, Men and Civilian employees are not expecting the same old corrupt hands and minds to be controlling and directing affairs.

For example, so many officers and men in the barracks are not happy that General NK Kporku is in charge of Joint Operations at General Headquarters. As the Director of Army Peacekeeping Operations (DAPKOP), then Colonel Kporku grew wings and did his own thing without any regard to authority. The then Chief of Army Staff, General R Opoku Adusei was scared of the Nyebros (his former in-laws) and allowed them to do things their own ways.

For instance then Colonel Kporku used lateness to pre-operational departure parades to victimize the culprits but at the same time to “enrich himself”. Colonel Kporku arbitrarily collected back vacancies given to officers and men who reported late for pre-operational parades, whether with geniue excuses or not. There were instances where some officers and men went on official assignments related to the peacekeeping operation and yet lost their vacancies, got banned from participating in peacekeeping operations for over three years.

Granted that he could punish the offenders, why not give the vacancies back to the units of the culprits but keep them at the office of DAPKOP? We want an answer to that General Kporku. Almost invariably those vacancies were “sold” to bidders who knew about that practice and were ready to buy the vacancies in order to improve upon their own circumstances.

Similarly, Colonel Akou-Adjei did his own thing as the Army Secretary. Officers had to offer considerations before getting selected for some lucrative operations. There is no doubt that the offices of Army Secretary and DAPKOP were used for private personal gains by these two officers.

Our call for a probe has gone unnoticed or ignored by the CDS, COAS, Minister of Defence, the Defence Intelligence and National Security. But those actions of the two key appointment holders at Army HQ, which have gone “unpunished”, have strengthened the conviction of the “forgotten heroes” that it is business as usual.

The Army Secretary for instance manipulated the recommendation processes of officers for courses, training and operations to suit his “brothers” and “sisters” of the Agbadza fraternity. Grades and dates of birth of some officers were doctored to give advantages to some officers (NDC politically and ethnocentrically correct) while denying others (the politically and ethnocentrically incorrect) those appointments.

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