The National Democratic Congress (NDC) government is feverishly and seriously planning towards the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary general elections. All efforts and preparations are geared towards using foul means more than fair means to win the elections. Realizing that its popularity is plummeting and conscious of imminent defeat by the main opposition, the NPP, in the 2012 general elections, the NDC has set out an elaborate plan to rig the elections by various means especially by intimidation, harassment, violence, military and police brutalities and violent actions and activities through its para-military organizations, associations, affiliates and foot soldiers. Similar strategies were used by the NDC in the Akwatia re-run, Chereponi and Atiwa Parliamentary elections in 2009 and 2010.
The Security Services are to play major roles in the overall scheme of events. The military, the police, the Immigration Service, the CEPS, the Prisons Service and Fire Service are all to play very vital roles in these operations, activities and actions to achieve the NDC mission of retaining power in the 2012 elections.
The NDC has planned and is implementing a strategy of recruiting Pro NDC personnel into the Security Services especially the Ghana Armed Forces, the Police Service, the Ghana Immigration Service, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and the CEPS.
Recruitment into the GAF has already started. The objective of the NDC is to recruit about 8ooo personnel into the GAF out of which at least 6000 should be Pro-NDC personnel. This massive recruitment exercise was preceded by the compulsory retirement of the 1978/79, 1982, 1983 personnel into the other Ranks Category. The number involved is about 4000 and comprises all personnel recruited between 1978 and 1983. There are plans to retire up to 1985 personnel before the elections of 2012. The massive retirement is to pave the way for the envisaged more massive recruitment of Pro-NDC personnel into the GAF. In order to fulfill the “conditionalities” of the Bretton Woods Institutions (IMF and World Bank) the NDC is portraying the exercise as recruitment on replacement basis and yet would double the intake of personnel.
The aim is to have a rejuvenated military and a more Pro-NDC military on which the NDC government could rely rather than the current mix which is more balanced than the envisaged one. A younger generation of Pro-NDC soldiers could be used to undertake robust, swift and clandestine activities more than the overaged mix that we currently have. It is also understandable that most of those persons recruited into the GAF between 1978 and 1985 served under Flt Lt Rawlings for a greater part of their service and might be more loyal to Ex-President Rawlings than President Mills. There is therefore the recognition of the need to have more Pro-President Mills and Vice–President Mahama personnel in the GAF than Pro Rawlings even though they are likely to be sympathetic to the NDC cause. It is therefore a strategic move on the part of the Mills Administration to reorganize the GAF to suit its present and medium term interests.
The current recruitment in the GAF and the Police Service in particular and other security services are geared towards these obligations. The massive fraud that has characterized the recruitment and enlistment exercises demonstrated the resolve of the NDC government to get its foot soldiers, sympathizers and members only into the GAF. The fraud started with the initial screening exercise. Contrary to previous well laid down procedures, the recent recruitment exercise was decentralized to allow the Service Headquarters (i.e. Army Hq, Navy Hq, Airforce Hq and Medical Directorate of the General Headquarters) to select only persons of their choice as instructed and directed by Castle, National Security Council Secretariat and NDC Headquarters. Various lists from Castle, office of the National Security Coordinator, NDC Headquarters, NDC Ministers, MPs and officials were given to the Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Service Commanders (Chiefs of Army, Navy, and Airforce) and the Director General of Medical Services to be shortlisted.
The Director of Manpower Planning, Colonel BT Ba-Ta-Banah, was only given a list of persons to be issued with letters to go for regional screening without being given the opportunity to verify whether or not they were qualified by the laid down military standards. The EMS envelopes containing photocopies of the relevant educational and birth certificates were taken away from the Director Manpower Planning and given to the Service Headquarters and Education Directorate to do the short listing. The Education Directorate, in particular, with Colonel PK Senchim in charge, selected mostly only Pro-NDC persons for the regional screening. Colonel PK Senchim was the Army Secretary for both General SA Odotei and General JN Adinkrah (the current Army Commander) from May 2005 to February 2010 where he decided which Army officer was given what appointment and for how long. Colonel PK Senchim has been and is a die-hard member of the NDC and collaborated effectively with Gen SA Odotei and others to undermine Gen JB Danquah to facilitate NDC’s influence on the Army before, during and after the 2008 general elections.
According to what Gen JH Smith, the Defence Minister, said in Parliament about 45000 applications were received and only about 7000 were short listed. Most of the applicants not known to be sympathetic to NDC and whose names did not appear on lists sent by the NDC government through various channels were denied short listing.
The few unknown persons who were short listed for regional screening were denied progress to the next stage at the national level. The invitation letters given to such persons were collected from them at the regional screening. Most of such persons who were allowed to write the aptitude test were declared failures and their letters of invitation seized from them. Again, most of these unfortunate ones who managed to get selected for the national screening were failed in Accra and their letters collected from them. Their names were deleted from the lists sent to Accra and their index numbers given to Pro-NDC persons who either did not take part at all in the regional screening or failed the aptitude tests at the regional level. For instance, on 16th April 2010, when all personnel from the regions had been screened at the national level, over 300 pro-NDC persons who had not taken part in the exercise were suddenly sent to Burma Hall to write exams not under the auspices of the DMP but Wing Commander Fianya, Lt Cdr Kpetigo and Col Senchim and were made to replace non-NDC candidates.
Letters of invitation were given to these “intruders” after the DMP had been made to give the last index numbers of the various services especially the Army. These persons do not have their names in the initial books of the DMP. Others were also given Index Numbers of persons who had been sacked from the selection process earlier. Worse still some persons who had been informed that they had been successful and were to go to the 37 Military Hospital to undertake medical examinations got there only to realize that their index numbers had been given to different persons and their names deleted from the list and replaced with Pro-NDC candidates.
Letters were written by Lt Col AK Gbevlo-Lartey, the National Security Coordinator, directing the Military High Command to remove the names of persons suspected to be NPP sympathizers. These persons were either known NPP members, sympathizers or those known to have played roles such as polling agents, assistants or party officials at the 2008 general elections. Some of the affected persons were also persons who were part of the 420 Army Potential Recruits whose training was cancelled in 2009 and were associated with the NPP, NPP officials, NPP Members of Parliament, NPP Ex-Ministers and/or NPP members.
The aim of the actions and letters of the National Security Coordinator, NDC officials, members and sympathizers was to rid the process of all known or suspected NPP members or sympathizers.
The situation was the same for applicants who wanted to join the officer corps of the Ghana Armed Forces. In both cases (enlistment and recruitment) persons from Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions were the main casualties of the positive discrimination strategy of the NDC government.
This strategy is to be repeated in all subsequent recruitment and enlistment exercises to ensure that at least 80% of all recruits and officer cadets are pro-NDC members, sympathizers or foot soldiers. Very reliable sources have indicated that the same strategies are to be used to recruit persons into the Police Service, the Immigration Service, CEPS, Prisons Service and the Fire Service.
The Police are to recruit about 15000 persons between 2010 and 2012 to augment its strength to reach the 40000 mark. This figure has been deliberately selected to be in harmony with the figure given by Nana Akufo Addo in the 2008 Presidential Campaign. The recent strategic plan of the Police was announced to make it appear as if it was the initiative of the Police Service itself and not the NDC government in order to distract attention from the NDC government.
The reality is that the NDC government is to exploit the Police short term strategic plan to its advantage. For instance, the announcement that all the ten regional capitals are to train police recruits is one of the strategies to facilitate the training of the NDC foot soldiers as police officers. Already, NDC foot soldiers under the guise of NYEP are being recruited into the Police Service. The first batch of such police officers have completed their police recruit training in the Upper East. Other foot soldiers are preparing to go for recruiting while several others have just begun training at various regional centers. All of those selected for training so far are pro-NDC.
Under the guise of scrutinizing and screening the members of the NYEP, all pro-NPP persons were denied selection while all pro-NDC members of the NYEP and others not on it at all have been selected for training. The trick here is that the NYEP is a product of the NPP regime and therefore any attack by the NPP on the program will be seen as a paradox while the NDC is cleverly exploiting it to provide employment for its foot soldiers and at the same time prepare for the 2012 and all future elections.
The domination of the Security Services by the NDC in the short-term and long-term is a cleverly thought, fashioned and planned strategy to outwit the NPP in particular.
A massive recruitment into the Police and other security services is to begin in June 2010 while the WORLD Cup is underway in South Africa in order to avoid scrutiny and detection of the fraud to be perpetrated. The selection process and the training of police personnel will continue from June 2010 until 2012 to enable the NDC government have enough pro-NDC young and junior police officers to deploy for various police duties and brutalities before, during and after the 2012 elections.
The Ghana Immigration Service is another security service that the NDC government has targeted for the 2012 and other future elections. The Immigration service forms the first line of defence against external aggression. The Immigration service can facilitate or deny entry of foreigners, unauthorized persons and mercenaries into Ghana. Sight should not be lost of how NDC-ferried voters came from Togo to vote during general presidential and parliamentary elections. The role of the Immigration service is therefore very critical and important in any attempt to fight this fraudulent practice exploited by the NDC in all previous elections.
The 90 persons recruited by the Ex-Minister of Interior, Mr Cletus Avoka, into the GIS in 2009 under the guise of training Liberian Immigration Service is too fresh to be ignored. Most of the 90 persons who have completed their initial training at Assin Foso and were given military training at Asutsuare thereafter have been deployed at the various entry points and are to play very important roles in the 2012 general elections. About 70% of the 90 persons come from the Upper East Region and in particular the Bawku-Zebilla general area. These were persons who were given military training in secret camps in the volatile Bawku general area before they were transported clandestinely to Assin Fosu. The lack of communication between the Minister of Interior and the then Commandant of the Immigration Training School, Major Agordekpe (Retired), resulted in the postings of the latter for not cooperating with the politicians.
Just as the Police are to do with effect from June 2010, the GIS are to continue with its recruitment and training of the Immigration officers with effect from June 2010 just at the time when the World Cup will be underway in South Africa. The GIS is to increase its strength by about 2000 by 2012. Out of the number, all or at least 80% are to be Pro-NDC sympathizers, members and/or foot soldiers the recruitment is to be clandestine and not open. Already, the Castle, the NSCS, NDC Headquarters, Ministers, MPs and NDC officials have submitted lists collated from all the 230 Constituencies to the appropriate quarters for selection and training of these NDC foot soldiers, members and sympathizers.
The Customs, Exercise and Preventive Service (CEPS) is also to benefit from the recruitment Exercise. At least about 1000 persons are to be recruited into the CEPS between 2010 and 2012. All of these persons or at least 90% are to be persons who are members, relatives of members, foot soldiers and/or sympathizers of the NDC. The aim of this recruitment is to have majority of persons in the CEPS being favorable to the cause of the NDC.
The CEPS will also contribute personnel towards the elections of 2012 as has always been the case in the past. The CEPS, GIS, Prisons Service and the Fire Service all contribute personnel to supplement and complement the efforts of the Police in providing security at the various Polling Stations across the country.
The names of all the Pro-NDC personnel who will be recruited into the CEPS are those to be kept by the National Security Council Secretariat and are those who will be released for the elections duties in 2012. The National Security Coordinator is to keep data on these Pro-NDC personnel in the CEPS and will monitor their deployment continuously. A directive would be given to the CEPS Commissioner to release only the Pro-NDC officers for the elections duties in 2012.
The Prisons Service and the Fire Service are also to recruit personnel. It is estimated that between the two services at least 3000 new persons are to be recruited. As in the case of GIS, CEPS and the Police Service, the Prisons Service and the Fire Service are to assist in the employment of NDC foot soldiers, members, relatives of members and sympathizers to ease the pressure on the NDC government and also ensure that they are used before, during and after the 2012 elections to promote the interest and cause of the NDC.
In all there are likely to be about 30000 polling stations throughout the country during the 2012 elections. The Police, ordinarily, are to provide security, at least one police officer, at each polling station to provide security and protect the ballot box(es). It is estimated that the Police may provide about half of this number i.e. about 15000 or at most 20000 if the Police strength is to reach the anticipated figure of 40000 by 2012. The remaining figure will be provided by the other Security Services namely the GIS, the Prisons Service, the Fire Service and the CEPS.
While the Police has the responsibility to do their normal duties of maintaining law and order and therefore cannot commit all their personnel into the elections duties, the other Security Services would be required to provide between 10000 and 15000 personnel to maintain security at the Polling Stations and protect the ballot boxes before, during and after the 2012 elections as Pro-NDC or NDC sympathizers. This will make it possible for the NDC to maximize their votes in their “strongholds” and minimize their losses in the opposition “strongholds” or facilitate the disruption of voting in opposition strongholds or even facilitate the rigging of elections in favour of the NDC in opposition strongholds.
Other Associations, Organizations and bodies that are funded entirely or partially by the state that need to be monitored because of their potential for assisting the NDC in its agenda 2012 are the BNI, NADMO, the National Service Secretariat and the Eco Brigade.