The officers and men from the Volta Region especially the “Dzelukope Mafia” were and are vehemently against the policy of regional balance in the GAF because their strategy and tactical plans are geared towards dominating all the Security Services and more importantly the GAF.
Hiding under the guise of being a minority group in the country, the officers and men from the Volta Region especially the “Dzelukupe Mafia” has strategized since the days of General Kotoka to control and dominate the GAF to protect and defend their interests, politically economically, and socially.
This has permeated all regimes since independence particularly immediately after Kotoka’s coup d’état and Rawlings’ regimes stretching from 1979 through to 2001, until the democratic forces of the good people of Ghana freely and fairly elected President JA Kufour to the throne. Even during the first term of President Kufour, when General SK Obeng was the CDS, the Volta Region had an undue advantage in the recruitment and enlistment of personnel into the GAF as the military hierarchy which had been dominated by the Volta Region during Rawlings too – long stay in power continued and persisted in their strategic march. For instance, between 2001 and 2005, Volta Region enjoyed 33.38% of officers commissioned into GAF. In the case of the other Ranks in 2003 the Volta Region had 210 out of 772 recruited into the Army (representing 27.21%), 61 out of 250 recruited into the Navy (representing 24.40%), 42 out of 176 recruited into the Airforce (representing 23.20%) for the same 2003 the Ashanti Region also had 93 for Army (12.05%), 19 for the Navy (7.60%) and 22 for the Airforce (12.50%).
The situation for the other Ranks recruitment in 2004 followed the same pattern. The Volta Region had 137 out of 618 recruited into the Army (22.17%); 97 out of 350 for the Navy (27.71%) and 51 out of 350 for the Navy (27.71%) and 51 out of 204 for the Airforce (25%). For the same 2004, Ashanti Region had 51 for the Army (8.25%); 24 for the Navy (6.85%) and 20 for the Airforce (9.80%). Between July 2002 and December 2004 Colonel MK Amuzu was the Director General (Personnel Administrator), having taken over from Brigadier General Wallace Gbedemah.
Incidentally, instructions issued by Colonel MK Amuzu clearly allocated vacancies on regional basis using figures from the then last known population census of Ghana but the orders were circumvented. The Volta Region with more representation on the regional teams entrusted with the recruitment exercise managed to have its way and dominated absolutely and functionally in all the three services (Army Navy and Airforce) in the recruitment of 2003, 2004 and 2005.
It was the attempt by General JB Danquah and the entire Military High Command to enforce the policy on regional and gender balances as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution under Article 35 (6) (b) that saw all the Ewe officers and men in the GAF protesting thereby inviting unfortunate comments on it from FLt Lt JJ Rawlings in October 2008 at Peki in the Volta Region during a political rally of the NDC. For the avoidance of doubt, the Constitutional provision states that “Towards the achievement of the objectives stated in clause (5) of this Article, the state SHALL take appropriate measures to achieve reasonable regional and gender balance in recruitment and appointment to public offices.”
There is no doubt that the GAF are part of the public offices as the officers and men are paid from the Consolidated Fund and all their requirements are provided by the state (public funds).
Even during the period 2006 to 2008 when the attempt was made to achieve reasonable regional and gender balance, the Volta Region still topped if figures from all the three services were put together for the officers and men. That explains why to the date the Volta Region commands between 24 and 28% of the Ghana Armed forces.
The situation is being worsened under President Mills. Under the current NDC regime, there has been a systematic deliberate conscious and well planned effort to augment the proportion of personnel from the Volta Region in the GAF while at the same time denying persons from the Akan dominated regions especially Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Entry into the GAF.
As if that was not enough, several Akan officers have been targeted for release from the GAF whereas their counterparts from the Volta Region are not being released even where there are several years above their compulsory retiring ages. This strategy is ensuring attrition for the Akans particularly Ashantis, Brongs, Akyems, Akwapims, and Kwahus while ensuring an accelerated admission of more persons from the Volta Region, especially Southern Volta Region (Anlos) into the GAF.
It may interest well meaning Ghanaian to note that when a massive release of Other Ranks recruited between 1979 and 1983 was effected between May 2009 and June 2010 under President Mills, the Ex – Soldiers from the Volta Region and those from other regions perceived to be NDC sympathizers have been employed by the National Security Secretariat and the Ministry of Defence in aid of capacities while the rest have been left to their fate to ensure NDC and Volta Region domination in the GAF.
These are acts of unfair treatment, victimization of Akans, from Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions and ill-treatment against perceived NPP sympathizers in the military are breeding tension in the military and threaten our peaceful democratic march.
It is better for these facts to brought out for discussion and solution than to sweep them under the carpet using uncalled for accusation of whipping tribal sentiments when in fact the NDC and its Agents are the causes of the tribal and ethnic politicization of the GAF.
The fraudulent recruitment exercise of 2009/2010 showed clearly that the NDC has a serious agenda to recruit more persons from the Volta Region than the others in order to achieve political gains during the 2012 elections.
Several persons from the Volta Region and a few other regions belonging to the NDC were fraudulently recruited into the Army, Navy and Airforce and are currently undergoing training at the various Military recruit training schools at Shai Hills, Tema and Takoradi. The list of persons selected shows the dominance by the Volta Region and foot soldiers of the NDC from other part of the country.
For instance, out of the 453 sent to Army Recruit Training School at Shai Hills, 122 hail from the Volta Region even though only 38 were recruited from Ho. Another figure of 57 persons hailing from the Volta Region was recruited from the Greater Accra Region. Several of these persons did not go through the recruitment process. Some of them were made to replace others from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions who had genuinely been processed for various stages of the recruitment exercise. Particular mention has to be made of persons who were brought to Burma Hall on 16th April, 2010 on the authority of Brigadier General EC Quist (the Director General Personnel Administration at the time).
These persons numbering over 300 were illegally inserted into the selection process. Some of them were made to join the Army first Batch on 1st July 2010 while some joined the Navy and the Airforce who are all currently undergoing training. This illegal insertion brought some misunderstandings between Brig Gen Quist and Colonel T Ba-Taa-Banah, the Director Manpower Planning: Colonel T Ba-Taa-Banah’s insistence on the right thing being done resulted in his removal and his “good riddance” to Sabbatical Leave in China under the guise of a Course.
As for the rumors being peddled by some Ewe officers and men that the victimized Colonel was the course of the Brigadier General’s death, the least said about it the better. The only possibility of a justification for the unfair allegation and accusation is the Back –To- Sender Argument”. If indeed it is true that juju was found in Colonel T Ba-Taa-Banah’s office and the juju was alleged to ‘eliminate him’ then the only reasonable inference is that because God loves him and comes from the Upper West where the “trees” are very powerful , he managed to survive the juju and naturally the “poison” went back to the sender.
Furthermore, the strategy of the current NDC and Volta Region controlled Ghana Armed Forces is to systematically reduce the representation of Akans from the NPP strongholds while increasing the representation of the Volta Region and the NDC strongholds Regions. For instance, since January 2009 over thirty military officers of various ranks between Colonel, Major and Lieutenant Generals have been released compulsorily mainly under the pretext of age and lack of vacancy while officers from the Volta Region who are several years and months overaged have been given juicy and motivating appointment and promotions.
Efforts are still under way to release Colonels Agyekum Yamoah, EA Mensah, MD Boampong and Ankomah Danso and Brigadier General George Adjei and at the same time, the Military High Command is preparing to submit the names of Colonel DJ Sakyi, Group Captain EK Boateng, Colonel RPKZ Hatse, Colonel EWK Nibo, Colonel Senchim and Colonel FK Kwashie for promotion to Brigadier General and equivalent.