…..Will he exit in line with convention and practice?

Ever since DAYBREAK broke the news about the upcoming retirement of the current Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Lieutenant General OB Akwa, it has learned that our noble and gallant officers and soldiers have been seriously discussing the possible replacement.

Whilst some are discussing the likely replacement, others are looking at the grounds for which he must leave. The main reasons adduced are convention and practice within the military and, of course, moral grounds.

The debate within Burma Camp and the other barracks across the country seems to suggest that the moral argument will be the best reason why Lieutenant General OB Akwa will exit on his retirement age on 20 June 2020.

This argument is backed by the fact that, under Lieutenant General OB Akwa’s watch, supervision and agreement, three military chiefs have been compulsorily retired when indeed; their compulsory retirement age of 63 years was not due. These are Major General W Ayamdo at age 62, Air Vice Marshal MM Nagai at age 62, and Rear Admiral K Faidoo at age 60.

He also singlehandedly as the CDS retired several Generals who also had not reached their compulsory retirement age of 63 years. It included Major General SK Adeti at age 58, Air Vice Marshal GS Evans at age 59, and Major General W Omane-Agyekum at age 59.

There are several other Brigadiers and Colonels that Lieutenant General OB Akwa has personally retired because they have reached their compulsory retirement age. These include Brigadier General A Boimah, Brigadier General T Dzisi, Brigadier General S Ayer, and Brigadier General M Whaja. Many other Colonels have also not been spared, including young and energetic Colonels K Arthur, B Tsiquaye, and P Apenkwah.

It is this principle of the CDS in retiring people who serve their mandatory years in appointment or service that makes the rank and file of the Ghana Armed Forces believe that he will have no moral right to stay on.

He would, however, become the longest-serving individual of the Ghana Armed Forces from the time of the Gold Coast Constabulary pre-independence to modern-day Ghana to retire at age 65. This is a noble feat and DAYBREAK commends our dear General for that. Unfortunately, since his retirement news broke out, we have not seen any sign of parade rehearsals to see him off in grand style, though this could be attributed to COVID-19.

DAYBREAK has also picked from the grapevine that the CDS may be maintained to oversee the general elections, though the decision remains with the government.

Whether the CDS will stay on a couple of months more or exit pronto is the crucial question officers and ranks are waiting to hear.

In the unfolding saga, however, it is interesting how some of the top military chiefs are jockeying for the position using bogus experts and friends in the media.