The adages that no matter how long a piece of wood stays in a river it will never become a crocodile and the converse that a pig will always be dirty no matter how well it is bathed because its preference is the dirt and not the river are so true, real authentic, verifiable, justifiable and appropriate in the Ghana Armed Forces of today that only a miracle can save mother Ghana.
To show their loyalty and commitment to the P/NDC and especially the NDC II that came to power through lies, deceit, violence, intimidation and fraudulent practices, the Directorate of Public Relations, cannot divorce themselves from palpable and pathological lies at all.
Those who thought that the departure of Colonel EWK Nibo (Did I hear that he is still lurking around MOD?) and the usurpation of Colonel M Atintande to the throne as the Director Public Relations of the GAF (to the detriment of Lt Col Comfort Ankoma-Danso) was going to give the GAF a new image and credibility would have to revise their notes and adapt to the new realities. It is as certain as day and night that the GAF are going to continue their new role of brutalities, intimidation and use of force to assist their revolutionary allies in the NDC to win elections by fair or foul means.
The military brutalities in Bawku, Northern Region (the rape cases, and Chereponi bye election barbarism), Akwatia JIHAD and the Atiwa mayhem forebode events, activities and misuse of state institutions for parochial purposes. In all the afore-mentioned instances, the Military have been misused to satisfy the sectional interest of the NDC to the detriment of the relative peace and tranquillity that were handed over to the “Asomdweehene” on 7th January 2009.
Any peace loving member of the Ghanaian society who doubts the menace of violence in our otherwise peaceful march in our democratic journey with the inception of NDC II under Uncle Atta should look at what the military did to the Police in Kumasi. If the military were able to use so much violence on the Police with ferocity and impunity then how much more on the poor defenceless Ghanaian voters especially those perceived to be Pro-NPP?
What was the outcome of the “Investigations into the Military Brutalities on the Police in Kumasi”? So far nothing has come out of it. It will be just one of the usual businesses of sweeping it under the carpet. It happened in Akim Oda, in early 2009 where and when soldiers from the Jungle Warfare School in Achiase descended on the poor Akims (die-hard NPP sympathisers in the majority) and all that the Military High Command did was to let the then Commandant of the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS) apologise in am unremorseful manner. In the case of the Bawku incident, Ministers of State went to the defence of the soldiers when serious abuses of human rights had occurred and innocent civilians had been tortured, humiliated and dehumanised. There were no sanctions for the soldiers responsible for those brutalities. Not even video footages and coverages and newspaper publications could touch the obstinate hearts of cruelty to get the offenders punished.
Again, rather callously the military authorities (with Colonel Nibo in full gear) went to the defence of the soldiers who allegedly raped girls in the Northern Region and that ended the matter.
The election violence in Akwatia and Chereponi in 2009 and Atiwa in 2010 need to be revisited as they have been rehearsals for the NDC 2012 Agenda of using foul means to retain power. In all the three Parliamentary elections, the military have been misused and this calls for serious concern.
Credible sources have it that just as happened in the 2008 general elections certain unauthorised persons were allegedly dressed in military and police uniforms to intimidate, harm and brutalise the poor voters to facilitate rigging by the NDC. The strategies worked to some extent with success in all the three constituencies. In the case of Akwatia had it not been for the fact that the NPP Candidate had already taken an unasailable lead the story would have been different as the NDC managed to have overall majority in the remaining 6 polling stations but not enough to change the fortunes of the NDC candidate. In Chereponi, the strategy secured an undeserved victory for the NDC as the Party won in the very rural and remote areas but lost in the big towns where the intimidation was challenged to some extent.
The story of Atiwa is not very different. Even though the NPP won, the NDC by using military resources managed to reduce the margin of defeat and subsequently boasted with it.
What is of significance in this article is the denial of the role played by Major Ignatius Awuni in the Atiwa episode by no less a person than Colonel M Atintande, the new Director of Public Relations of the GAF. A report by AR Gomda in the Daily Guide issue of Friday 3rd September 2010 at page 14 captioned “Military Deny Awuni in Atiwa story reads “The Director of the Ghana Armed Forces’ Public Relations Directorate, Colonel M’Bawine Atintande, has expressed surprise at reports that claimed that Major Ignatius Awuni, an officer in his outfit regularly visited the Atiwa constituency prior to the polls. Major Awuni is an officer in the PR Directorate and was no where near Atiwa before and after the polls there. He assured political parties and Ghanaians in general that military personnel are highly professional and should be trusted to discharge their duties accordingly. He called on the media to support his outfit by cross-checking facts before publishing same so that together we can build a strong country to which we all belong”.
The denial by the Director of Public Relations of the GAF is not only shameful by all standards but also a real evidence of dishonesty, lack of intergrity and sincerity and above all sycophancy to the highest apogee.
How can Colonel M’Bawine Atintande say boldly that Major Awuni is an officer in the Public Relations Directorate and was no where near Atiwa before and after the polls?
Firstly, Major Ignatius Awuni even though commissioned into the Public Relations Directorate, does not currently work in or as an officer in the Public Relations Directorate. Major Ignatius Awuni has been working at the National Security Council Secretariat since 15th June 2009. He ceased to be working at the Public Relations Directorate effective 15th June 2009. If Colonel Atintande has refused to recognise that fact and is throwing dust into the eyes of the Ghanaian public then he needs to refer to the Military Secretary Publication of 19th June 2009.
Major Awuni (GH/3020) who was a captain until he was promoted Major on 18th August 2009 had travelled to Lebanon during the 2008 general elections to serve with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL Ghanbatt 69). He returned to Ghana on 4th May 2009 and was posted to the Public Relations Directorate as an Assistant Director. He was subsequently posted to the National Security Secretariat on 15th May 2009 by the Military Secretary Publication of 19th June 2009 (serials 72 and 73 of MS Publication of 19 June 2009 refer to him).
In fact, then Captain I Awuni did not work at the Public Relations Directorate for even a single day on his return from Lebanon and started working at the Castle and the Blue gate before his formal posting was published.
Secondly, every concerned Ghanaian knows now that those personnel, military and civilians, who work at the National Security Council Secretariat are tasked to do all sorts of operations and activities related to security and intelligence. It is therefore very usual for Major I Awuni to be sent to Atiwa before and after the polls in the name of security and intelligence.
Major I Awuni had allegedly been involved and is allegedly still involved in several activities and operations including the training of “Intimidation Squads” in various parts of the country. A separate article would be written on those activities in subsequent publications and all his collaborators would also be exposed at the right time.
Another credible source of information is that on Monday 30th August 2010 at the Chief of Staff’s (General Headquarters) meeting with the Director Generals, Directors and Representatives of Formations, Departments, Directorates and Units, the issue of Major I Awuni came up for discussion because of the Newspaper and Radio reports on Major Awuni’s activities in Atiwa. At the said meeting, it was conceded that Major Awuni went to Atiwa constituency where he was to arrange for hotels and see to security arrangements for some VIPs but “he overstepped his limits” and therefore the negative repercussions. These disclosures were made to the hearing of several officers on that fateful Monday 30th August 2010, a day before the Atiwa Parliamentary bye-elections took place.
Indeed, there are living witnesses to those assertions and more importantly, there are people who saw Major Awuni in Atiwa especially at Anyinam where all hotels were booked for the NDC a week before the election. So why should Colonel M’Bawine Atintande try to defend a very bad case of misuse of military resources and misjudgement on the part of the NDC and the National Security Council Secretariat?
Colonel M Atintande has indeed succeeded Colonel EWK Nibo as the lying mouth piece of the Ghana Armed Forces. Since 2nd February 2009, the GAF Public Relations have been caught in deceit, lies, propaganda and partisan politics. In one breath the Public Relations Directorate of the GAF would be preaching professionalism and non-partisanship of the GAF and yet in another breath will be going to all lengths to justify and defend military brutalities, lies, nepotism, partisanship, ethnicity and victimisation.
Perhaps the controversies surrounding Colonel Atintande’s appointment and promotion would haunt him for several months and even years and would compel him to be at his sympathetic and deceitful best.
Another evidence of Colonel Atintande’s willingness, ability and eagerness to sing the chorus of the NDC and his benefactors to the hilt is the “group photograph” of him and the President, HE JEA Mills on the front page of the Ghanaian Times on Saturday 4th September 2010. Colonel Atintande was proudly holding a microphone for thePresident, so that he would be seen, recognised and appreciated as an extremely loyal disciple of the “Umbrella”. Certainly, Colonel Atintande is not the type who would delegate such an “important event” for the likes of his soldiers and staff officers to compete with the reporters from the TV and Radio stations especially those that assisted the NDC by diverse means to deny the real democratic wheels of Ghana from advancing.
Colonel Atintande is going to use the information captured on 3rd September 2010 for his next issue of the Armed Forces News. The theme of that occasion sits with the NDC propaganda which says that ask the people to turn left when in fact you mean right. The NDC would preach virtue and practise vice. So has Colonel Atintande started his job. He knew very well that Major Awuni is not at the Public Relations Directorate but rather at the National Security Council Secretariat and yet lied. He knew that Major Awuni was indeed at Atiwa and yet he denied it. Oh Ghana’s Armed Forces! Where and what next, Colonel Atintande?