Thursday, August 27, 2015

NPP AND THE GH₵ 7 MILLION ECOBANK ACCOUNT SAGA



The good old Holy Bible says money is the roots of all evil. In a fight to selfishly take clinical hold of money and possess power within organizations or societies have been very destructive and left body counts all over. Money brings great fortunes and powerful friends. It makes even a worse person becomes holy and talked-about. 
 
This fight for money and the desire to take control of an establishment is what is currently plaguing the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). 

The fight to control the financial kitty and call shots within NPP is what has caused the internecine conflict in NPP since its Tamale Congress that saw Mr Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong clinching the position of Chairman and General-Secretary respectively. 

GH₵ 7 MILLION VANISHED INTO THIN AIR?

Currently, it is said that over GH₵ 7 million cash which belongs to the NPP is nowhere to be found. However, investigations has found out that the money, which was proceeds from nominations and filing fees of the recently held NPP`s 2015 parliamentary primaries, is lodged at Ecobank, with only the party`s Treasurer, Abankwa Yeboah and the First Vice Chairman, Freddy Blay as the only signatories.

An unimpeachable source at the financial committee of the NPP, maintains that these two party officers, who thump-chest as unalloyed Nana Akufo-Addo loyalists have unilaterally operated the Ecobank accounts on the blind side of the party. 

Abankwa Yeboah, who hates the guts of the resilient duo, Afoko and Agyapong, refused to deposit the GH₵ 7  million cash into the recognised party account and has always blushed aside any queries to the where-about of the party`s money. 

At the last NEC meeting, both Abankwaa and Blay refused to attend to answer questions on the money and how it is being utilized for party operations. Details of the accounts, how much has been withdrawn and the purposes of the withdrawals shall be brought to the attention of the party very soon.

HOW IT STARTED

It is a public knowledge that Afoko and Agyapong run a vigorous campaign on their own merit against massive opposition and attacks from the die-hard supporters of party`s flag-bearer, Nana Addo.

The two were tagged as seriously anti-Nana with a grand agenda to ensure that Nana never attains the political Holy Grail in Ghana. This propaganda was brewed from diabolical elements from Nana`s camp to create enmity and serious loss at the Tamale Congress. But unfortunately, for the heavyweight party detractors and their supporters/underlings, the duo convincingly thrashed their opponents to sit in the positions they occupied today. 

One of the major reasons the two won their positions was their campaign message to the delegates to ensure proper administration of the party cash to avoid external manipulations, diversions and misapplications.
This is because the party`s financial administration during the tenure of the last executives came under monstrous accusations of impropriety, high-jacking and starving of the headquarters funds for its day-to-day activities.

This situation was caused by the creation of the party`s campaign team which was headquartered at Danquah Institute (DI). Every party activities and money went into the DI campaign office where selected members of the Campaign Team apply and distributed funds for electioneering and campaign activities.
NPP`s, Asylum Down party headquarters became a white elephant, as party executives gallivants between DI and Asylum down to eke money out of the Campaign team for the headquarters. 

This dichotomy of DI and Asylum Down, supported by Jake Okanta Obetsebi-Lamptey led Executives caused serious disquietude and general aversion for Jake and his team. Many party supporters saw it as serious weakness on Jake and his team for allowing DI to boss around the legitimate party headquarters and its personnel around like zombies. 

It was against this background that made Afoko and Agyapong very popular prior to the Tamale Congress. The popular feeling was that, the headquarters must take its proper role in the campaign, as the nerve center and not an appendage to the creation of the flag-bearer`s private campaign office. 

Afoko and Agyapong, on the quiet campaigned on the twin-theme of back to headquarters campaign team (centralized campaign from Headquarters) and clinical and effective administration of the party`s funds. This message caught up with many delegates, including many pro-Nana Addo loyalists and successfully quelled the morbid propaganda against the duo. 

The message made an avalanche of Nana loyalist/delegates casted their votes for Afoko and Agyapong, because they wanted headquarters (the elected party executives) to run their Campaign and not private party entity, DI.  They also saw Afoko and Agyapong as strong characters that can stand against certain personalities around Nana Addo who would not allow the 2012 DI campaign to transmogrify at all, compared to Jake and his team members like reactionary paper-tiger and master of misguided statements, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie aka Sir John as well as some new entrants they cannot trust. They gladly voted overwhelmingly for the duo.

THE REASON FOR OPENING FRESH ECOBANK ACCOUNT

For the grandmasters and opportunists around Nana Addo who have successfully assisted him to lose two national elections, the entry of Agyapong and Afoko was a massive blow. Their major fear was how the duo had sounded the siren that they will ensure centralization of campaign with the headquarters as the base and strict application of party funds. That decision, if they allow Afoko and Agyapong to implement would spell doom for their very powerful roles, influence, loyalty and existence in the party. 

For without Nima/DI private campaign office of the flag-bearer where will their influence and visibility in NPP be? So the need to fight against Afoko and Agyapong to maintain the status quo or incur their wrath started immediately after they were declared winners at Tamale.

Sir John, after blissfully losing his position to Kwabena Agyapong quickly warmed his way into the hearts of the pro-Nana Addo inner circle to be part of the grand agenda to make Afoko and Agyapong and anybody in the executives that support and their tenure, very miserable and problematic. 

Series of impatient and bad decisions like sacking of headquarters securities, relieve of the positions of Reverend Opare-Hammond and Perry Okudzeto as well as poor human relations side of the duo, gave smoking guns to their internal opponents to start their inglorious campaign of image assassination, destruction and ultimately impeachment or votes of no confidence. 

When Chairman Mahama Adams of Upper East was murdered in an acid attack and an attempt to effectively utilize it to remove Agyapong and Afoko lost its vigor, a grand design was couched to exclude the duo from any financial transaction of the party. This is to ensure that the duo are made useless in their position as loyalists will continue to call the shots for the party, even if they are crooks, buffoons or damn incompetent.

To achieve their aims, the pro-Nana loyalists advised Abankwaa Yeboah to open the new Ecobank account, without informing either Afoko, Agyapong or Sammy Crabbe. 

This money in this account is being used for party activities unknown to the Chairman and his General Secretary and some members of the NEC. This is an affront to NPP`s own constitution.

It is a shame that the very people who claim to be Nana`s loyalists and gallivant around accusing Agyapong and Afoko of not being team players and doing things without involving all the party folks, are now engaged in such a serious clandestine divisive posture and taking unilateral decisions without the some members of the NEC. 

So clearly, NPP doesn’t have any friction, the friction are created by selfish individuals using uninformed youths and party folks and their own media houses to constantly attack the duo to make them become a pariah in NPP. 

The reason is simple: money, power and assured future positions in Nana`s government or when the party loses, ensure their re-elections. For now this loyalists have won, but in politics, no condition is permanent.
Time will expose some of these so-called loyalists using the flag-bearer`s name and personal proximity to execute their own agenda. Some have started disgracing themselves already as money taken out for certain activities never reached the beneficiaries. It has been swept under the carpet, but like pregnancy it will surely come out for all to see!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Of leaking tapes, and NPP internal unity for election 2016



NPP has suffered massive leakage of tapes from its camp in recent times. It suggests that all is not well in the internal politics of New Patriotic Party (NPP). Factions have still not accepted to work in peace and tranquility to ensure smooth victory for their presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. It is about “We” and “Them” within the party. 

There are some elders who have circled Akufo Addo, who beat their chests openly that they love him more than others, have closed doors to anybody who overtly expressed divergent views about him and are ready to damage any perceived internal dissenters. These people see themselves as truly NPP or “Nana nipa” (Nana`s loyalist). These Nana`s loyalists refer to people who supported Alan Kyeremanten, perceived former President Kufuor loyalists and all other party neutrals as enemies. 

In their meetings and conversations, these Pro-Alan-Kufuor supporters and neutrals in the party they cannot vouch for their true allegiance are referred to as “Yaanom.” It’s a new antagonistic term that separates “True Nana” factions from others. To be tagged “Yaanom” means you will never ever find peace and joy in the party, let alone be allowed to get closer to Nana Addo to share your views.

The ‘Yaanoms’ that have been declared persona non grata near Nana Addo`s residence are leading party personalities like Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy, Professor Kwabena Frempong-Boateng, Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe, Dr Charles Yves Wereko-Brobbey, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Dr. Richard Anane, Mr. Kwame Pianim, Mr.Kwadwo Mpiani, Mr. Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong and Ms. Otiko Afisah Djabah. Some of these personalities can only have a whiff of Akufo Addo`s presence at NPP national headquarters NEC meetings or peace-broking venues. 

That is the situation in NPP

Leaking of vital information by politicians to outdo one another in an internal political challenge and jostling for power as well as external politicking of opposing political parties, is an old tradition. Leaking is a matter of policy or strategy to implement an agenda.  It goes to the roots of psychic that politicians get their power and influence from supporters that believe that their trusted political players are there to serve their best interest. To enable them win the hearts and minds of supporters and sympathizers to the detriment of their opposing politician contemporaries, leaking of information is exploited as the best weapon.

It is a means to an end to ensure that opponents look evil after being pilloried in the court of public opinion over leaked information and ultimately put a nail in their coffin to become a pariah.  Two-dimensional self- leak matrix is effectively utilized to achieve these aims.

Politicians and their agents secretly record damaging and confidential information about their opponents and leak it to the media or leak such negative information about themselves to the media and blame their opponents for it.

United States of America is the home of classic leaks. It is part of their day-today serious governance and political game.  In their great article published in April 9, 2006 edition of Los Angeles Times, titled “In Politics, Leaking Stories Is a Fine Art,” authors Richard T. Cooper and Faye Fiore revealed that leaking stories has been the game plan for United States politicians since the formation of the Republic and, “Washington insiders have long honed the skill, learning exactly when, or to whom, to disclose secrets in order to advance their agenda.”  

In fact, one of the founding fathers of US, Alexander Hamilton, the handsome dude whose painting adorns the US$10 bill, and noted for playing instrumental role in winning popular support for the Constitution, lost his life-long  dream of becoming  US president when someone told a scandal-mongering journalist about an affair he had had with a married woman. The leak, Hamilton believed, came from the camp of rival James Madison, who went on to become the fourth president of the United States. 

“Today, leaking has become such a basic part of the way Washington works that officials hold meetings to decide when, where and how to leak. They cultivate reporters who can be counted on to make good use of leaks. They draft memos spelling out official leak policies so that lower-level officials will know how to leak correctly,” Cooper and Fiore disclosed.

How the leakages in NPP began

It is this strenuous situation that has led to effective deployment and subterfuge to record meetings and conversations of opponents and personalities with ultimate aim of leaking it to the press in their war of survival, sustenance and consolidation of their hold on power and support base within the party. This parochial agenda of tape leakages started first with vile leakage of written text information to the media and mobile phones users during the NPP flagbearership campaign in 2008. 

In that campaign, communications wing of presidential aspirants leaked various diabolical information about their colleagues to the press. In one instance, an information was leaked to a newspaper suggesting that the then sitting vice president and an aspirant, late Aliu Mahama had no party membership card.  This caused Aliu to cut short his campaign to return to Accra with his special assistant Yaw Buabeng Asamoa challenging the publication, and also calling on the party hierarchy to clear the air about what he described as "the speculative story about my boss" membership card. 

On the D-Day of Congress to elect presidential candidates at University of Ghana, leakage of alleged voices of candidates conspiring to undermine a particular candidate was texted and shared. The situation aroused much heat that when Lord Commey was told that Paul Afoko was sharing dollars to influence voters, he just rush there to slap the man.

2012-2014 leaked tapes

After the Legon Congress, the birth of the era of leakage of Tapes dawned in NPP. The first leaked tape was the August 2012 recordings of Mr. Kennedy Agyapong (Agyapong tape), in which the Assin MP is heard saying he will not campaign for Akufo Addo again because NPP has betrayed him. The tape nearly brought serious rift between Nana`s loyalists and Kennedy but his constant denials and the massive Public Relations work done by his Oman Fm quelled it. 

In September 2014, another sizzling and explosive leaked audio recording purported to contain the voice of Minority Leader and NPP MP for Suame, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu emerged and went viral on Ghanaian media. The Tape popularly known as (Mensah-Bonsu Tape/Vuvuzelas Tape) had a voice of the Minority Leader making a number of damning claims, including the allegation that Nana Akufo-Addo and his entourage spent US$90,000 every weekend they visited Kumasi during the 2012 electioneering campaign, even though the flagbearer slept in a private residence.

The voice further claimed the aspiring NPP flagbearer and his team has misplaced priorities and is spending monies on luxurious activities when such funds could be used to help win parliamentary seats. It also said the team allegedly spent millions to buy cars, Vuvuzelas and other things to the detriment of the entire campaign. After several denials by the Minority leader, factions close to the flagbearer, especially a Kumasi-based Pro-Nana Addo group calling itself NPP for Victory 2016 accused two NPP MPs for Asante Akyem North and Manhyia North, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang and Collins Owusu Amankwa as the perpetrators/leakers. They denied, expressed fears and suspicions that "such mischievous claims are only meant to destroy” their “political career and hard earned reputations”. 

True to their feelings and suspicions, that accusation was drummed into the ears of delegates by tagging them as anti-Nana Addo MPs during NPP parliamentary primaries leading to their defeats.

Closing 2014 in grand style of leakages galore, another tape (Anta Tape) emerged in October 2014 in which the voice of Mr. Mohammed Amin Anta, the former Municipal Chief Executive of Tamale and a friend discussing NPP`s internal politics was also heard on the tape saying that Nana Akuo-Addo offered him three positions to choose from if he joined his camp. Anta also denied it and Kweku Baako even rubbished it as total bunkum.

2015 leakages

This year has already witnessed serious records of leaked tapes from NPP camp, and judging from utterances of presenters of pro-NDC radio stations, Radio Gold and Montie that they have more unreleased tapes at their disposal, it is likely that more tapes will emerge before the end of this year and in 2016, if NPP factions continue to do themselves in. 

In January this year, Daniel Bugri Naabu, a die-hard Nana Addo loyalist and Northern Regional Chairman of NPP was captured in a leaked tape, known as Bugri Naabu Tape, disclosing that the party National Chairman, General Secretary and Second Vice Chairman, Mr. Afoko, Kwabena Agypong and Sammie Crabbe respectively, are not to be trusted and for that matter they are going to be sidelined in the 2016 elections. He went further to state that, himself (Daniel Bugri Naabu) Freddie Blay the first vice, the party’s running mate Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, Nana Addo, Nassara coordinator Abdulai Kamldeen, Sammy Awuku, John Boadu, National Organizer, the other 9 regional chairmen and some selected NPP parliamentarians would be the core of the 2016 campaign without the involvement of Mr. Afoko and Kwabena Agypong. 

He was captured saying ’’neither Paul Afoko nor Kwabena Agypong is interested in Naa Akuffo Addo becoming president of Ghana.”   This tape brought Sammy Crabbe and Fredrick Worsemao Blay into serious friction when Sammy asked for investigation of the tape and possible sanctions against Mr. Naabu, and Blay declined. 

It must be emphasized that what Naabu said has recently been openly declared by another Nana Addo loyalist, Mr. Ayisi Boateng suggesting that Nana should sidelined Afoko and Agyapong.

Trailing immediately after Bugri Naabu Tape, was Osafo Marfo Tape in February in which the former Finance Minister in the erstwhile Kufuor administration, Yaw Osafo Marfo voice is heard spewing tribal comments lamenting about equitable distribution of resources in the country when, in fact, some regions produced nothing.  This tape annoyed Kennedy Agyapong so much that he went on air to insult all NPP members as a bunch of “FOOLS.” The words on the Osafo Marfo Tape was also exploited by the ruling NDC to tag NPP is an ethnocentric and anti-Northern party at the recent Talensi by-elections when Osafo showed up at the constituency.

After the this tape also emerged a leaked letter from Prudential bank-NPP  in last May, in which the bank asked for the payment of a GHC2 million debt owed it by the NPP with specific mention of Kelli Gadzekpo and  Ken Ofori-Atta. This leaked letter came in the heat of agitation of impeachment process against Afoko and Agyapong as a result of the acid attack on the Upper East regional chairman of NPP, Adams Mahama and his eventual death and terrorist-like takeover of NPP Asylum down headquarters in Accra. Political watchers, believed that it was this letter that led to Nana Addo undertaking immediate press conference to advise the INVISIBLE FORCES under Captain Korda, who have high jacked the Party to vacate the vicinity to allow the Afoko and Agyapong to work as well as stoppage of collection of signatures to impeach the two, led by the former General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John). 

Just as the party is calm and ex-President Kufuor, despite all the allegations against him as working against Nana Addo and even has hand in the death of Adams Mahama, as alleged by Kennedy Agyapong, his recent meetings with leading religious figures to find peace and unity to protracted NPP internal problems in his Airport residence was recorded and leaked to the press. As usual, the factions in NPP are engaged in blame game. But NPP MP for Suhum, Magnus Opare Ansah says he has evidence to prove that NDC using operatives of National Security recorded Kufuor`s residence meeting.

NDC`s involvement

Opare Ansah`s allegation is something that NPP has never come together as one people to think about. It’s a very solid lead and must be followed to its logical conclusion. NDC is capable of doing this from Day one by recording NPP conversation using National security operatives and aggrieved party people in both factions that have locked perpetual horns in the party. 

I hope NPP find their sanity and sense of forgiveness to finally agree to come together to fight the common opponent, NDC which has been knocking their heads together for a very long time by exploiting protracted Alan-Nana rancor.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Active Participation In Politics: Soldier’s Dilemma



Ghana, as a democratic Republic, is faced with yet another opportunity to further strengthen her democratic credentials under the 4th Republic. The opportunity comes each time along with its own challenges. The degree of the challenges, however, differs from one individual or group to the other. For members of the security services in general and the Ghana Armed Forces in particular, the challenges are enormous.

Apart from expectations that the military should be prepared to support the police to maintain law and order during the electioneering period, the individual soldier is also faced with the duty of properly conducting himself in a manner to avoid appearing as engaging in active party politics. But what exactly, within the law, are members of the military allowed or not allowed to do when it comes to politics?

Clause 1 of Article 19.45 of the Armed Forces Regulations (AFR) Volume I prohibits commanding officers from allowing a political meeting to be held or a political speech to be delivered at their stations, units or ships. They are also not to allow a candidate of an election or a political agent or canvasser to visit their stations, units or ships for the purpose of carrying out political activities unless authorized by or under service instructions or orders.



Again, clause 2 of the said Article proscribes a soldier from issuing an address to electors, or announcing himself or allowing himself to be announced as a candidate, or prospective candidate, for election to Parliament or to a local council, or instituting or taking part in any party or political meeting at any station, unit, ship or property occupied by the Armed Forces.

Aside these specifics, clause 2 further provides for the omnibus proscription of soldiers taking active part in the affairs of any political organization or party.

Interestingly, the Regulation appears to have failed to give soldiers an idea as to what amounts to active participation or involvement in the affairs of a political organization or party. The framers of the regulations left the determination of what amounts to active involvement in politics to the tribunal of fact. The decisions of the tribunal are in turn expected to inform all who are subject to the Regulations what specific situations could be regarded as active participation in the affairs of a political organization or party.

Unfortunately, there is scarcity of military tribunals’ decisions, or what may be referred to as case law, on what may qualify as active participation in the affairs of a political organization or party. Thus neither the Armed Forces Regulations nor the decisions of military tribunals provide sufficient guidance for military personnel on the issue.

Command therefore tries to fill the vacuum by periodically reminding service personnel on the need to avoid openly showing affiliations to political parties and getting involved in active party politics. But can this suffice as a sufficient guiding definition of what is active party politics such that if the activity of the soldier openly shows his affiliation to a particular political party, then that could be regarded as active involvement in party politics?

But wait a minute; one may then ask what ‘open exhibition of political affiliation’ is? This appears to have been answered by the stipulation of some specific prohibitions that include: bearing of political party membership cards, attending political party meetings and offering personal (not official) services as body guards to bigwigs of political parties.

Notwithstanding all the guidance provided by Command, some military personnel are still clouded by an aura of doubt as to the extent to which the proscription goes. They appear to be in a dilemma when considering other instances that may or may not amount to active participation in politics.

Take for instance a soldier wishing to be apprised of the policies of a political party in order to inform his decision on voting day, and who joins a crowd at a political rally outside barracks to listen to the politicians’ ‘sermon’. Could this soldier be said to have engaged in active party politics?

Does it matter if he were dressed, at the time, in military uniform or not? Consider a second scenario where a soldier who lives in his own accommodation (outside barracks) is visited by his civilian friends draped in political party paraphernalia. The friends spend a couple of minutes with him in the house before leaving. Could the host soldier be said to be doing active party politics?

Again, consider another scenario where two or more soldiers prior to an election reflect together on which political party or candidate to vote for. Then a soldier expresses his candid opinion to his colleagues why he thinks a particular party or candidate should be voted for. Is that soldier guilty of doing active party politics?

The list of the scenarios that puts the soldier in a dilemma as to what exactly constitutes ‘active participation in politics’ could be pretty long. A friend of mine tells me that to avoid being disciplined for actively participating in party politics, one only needs to follow the principle “don’t be seen and don’t be heard.” Could this also suffice as yet another guiding principle?

Be that as it may, it is imperative that we have some more guidance on situations that could lead to soldiers being disciplined for engaging in active party politics. It is important to realize that the Armed Forces would not prevent its personnel from reasonably participating in our democratic process.

Hence, the Armed Forces would always provide the enabling environment for its personnel to reasonably exercise their political rights, such as allowing them to undertake their biometric voter registration, and also encourage them to vote. But when, for example, it comes to actively campaigning for political parties or candidates, the military would frown upon it. A diligent soldier in a dilemma and not too sure of what could be regarded as active participation in politics may first take guidance from the specifically published instances that could be regarded as active involvement in party politics.

Guidance may also be sought from the national Constitution or legislations that make similar proscriptions in their provisions. For example, Article 94 (3) (b) of the 1992 Constitution makes a member of the Armed Forces ineligible to be a Member of Parliament. This limitation is further stretched by section 26(1) of the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574) which states that a chief or any other person who is not eligible to be elected to Parliament does not qualify to be a founding member, a leader or a member of the executive of a political party; or hold office in a political party.

Even without an express prohibition under the Regulations, one may deduce that since service personnel are ineligible to be elected to Parliament they cannot become founding members, executive members or office holders in any political party. If after looking at the constitutional and all other legislative provisions on the issue and one is still in a dilemma, it is suggested guidance should be sought from attempts made by writers to define the phrase. Indeed, partisan political activity could be any activity supporting or relating to candidates representing, or issues specifically identified with political parties or associated organizations. 

One would have thought the above submission concludes the controversy on the possibility of soldiers facing disciplinary action for engaging in active party politics. That is, however, far from the case because many more issues require interrogation. For example, would it be constitutionally proper to convict service personnel for allegedly engaging in active party politics when no clear definition of the phrase has been provided for?

Article 19 (11) of the 1992 Constitution provides that “No person shall be convicted of a criminal offence unless the offence is defined and the penalty for it is prescribed in a written law”. So one may argue that in view of Article 19 (11) the omnibus proscription under Clause 2 of Article 19.45 of the AFR forbidding soldiers from engaging in active party politics is void, since the Regulation fails to define ‘taking active part in the affairs of any political organization or party’.

It is respectfully submitted however that such an argument would fly in the face of the law, for the simple reason that it is impossible to list all conducts that could constitute active engagement in party politics in one enactment. There are a number of such similar omnibus provisions under our laws.

For example, section 16(1) of the Legal Profession Act 1962 (Act 32) does not itemize what constitutes ‘grave misconduct in a professional respect’ for lawyers, but that does not make section 16(1) of Act 32 void. Similarly, section 54 of Armed Forces Act 1962 (Act 105) does not specify the particular acts that constitute conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline yet several military personnel have been convicted and punished there under.

The possibility of sustaining a conviction on these omnibus provisions was confirmed in the Court Martial Appeal Court case of WOI Foli John vrs The Republic [Criminal Appeal No.2/8 of 1998]. The inability of the law makers to define active participation in party politics can therefore not be used as a defence when it comes to trying military personnel for engaging in active party politics.

A conviction or acquittal would depend, in each case, on the nature of the conduct that the personnel engaged in. If the tribunal of fact finds that the conduct qualifies as active participation in party politics, one can be successfully convicted. It is therefore necessary for all to be circumspect in the kind of activities that we engage in, particularly in this election year to avoid falling foul of the law.

Credit: Lt Col Charles Gbekle

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

And The Tension Continues…



The race for appointment as Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for the last lap of the non-performing Mills/Mahama regimes is “hot” and continues to be the source and catalyst of tension and fear in our community. 
 
Interested personalities and their lobbyists are very busy marketing themselves, destroying their perceived competitors and pretending to be performing their duties extremely well and better over their par values. 
 
In fact, our ears and eyes have stumbled upon a lot of materials that suggest that the military hierarchy (High command and Commanders of various levels) is doing a lot of disservice to Ama Ghana.  Commanders in our community have taken enviable positions in the NDC “create, loot and share” division (there are now more than three CLS Brigades in the country).  There is a free for all scramble for money and other resources to prosecute these individual ambitions, selfish, parochial and vicious interests of the “self-appointed candidates” for the offices of CDS, Service Chiefs, Commanders of Commands, Formations, Regions, Divisions, Bases, Brigades, Regiments, Units, Districts, Stations, Platoons and Squads.
There are allegations of serious financial hemorrhage in all our communities – Military, Police, Immigration, Customs Division of GRA, Prison Service, Fire Service, BNI, National Security Secretariat and Allied Agencies.

In all these cases, the rank and file of the Security Services are suffering.  The opportunity cost of the financial hemorrhage is huge, enormous and monumental. For instance, very basic items and materials such as uniforms, boots, web equipment, stationery and office equipment cannot be provided by the authorities for the troops, security personnel and agents of the security services. 

The irony of the situation is that while the units, stations, cells and offices are crying for very basic essential items and materials, the Commanders especially the top echelon, are swimming in oceans of opulence, extravagance and arrogance.  These Commanders are competing for mansions at Aviation Area in Ashalley Botwe, Airport Residential Area, Cantonments, Tsa-do, Labone, Dzorwulu and the various communities in Accra – Tema Metropolitan Areas and other High Class Areas in Kumasi, Sekondi – Takoradi, Cape Coast, Sunyani, Bolgatanga, Wa, Tamale, Ho and Koforidua.

Readers should not be surprised at this revelation as military and other security vehicles are used to cart goods, materials and equipment for building and construction on daily basis from Accra and other Regional Capitals to these high class areas in the regional capitals and hometowns of these Commanders. 

The Commanders should not forget that the vehicles are driven by “poor” junior ranks and officers of the security services.  Doubting Thomases should check on the Tema – Ho, Tema – Aflao, Kumasi – Tamale and Techiman – Wa roads on daily basis and especially during weekends to see how Ama Ghana is suffering from the diabolical, mischievous and criminally-minded activities of the Commanders of our communities.  It is very serious and pathetic that we have Commanders and leaders who are very insensitive and callous to the plight and sufferings of their subordinates.

But who can blame the Commanders of our communities for their unhealthy race for money, property and material, gains? 

Our Commanders are not operating on the latest volcanic island of Tonga but they are operating in an environment where corruption, stealing, looting and inappropriate acquisition of money and property is the order of the day. In fact, from the first to the last member of the current regime the allegation of corruption flies.  The Commanders in our communities are not “fools” to watch toddlers and neophytes in politics (thanks to late John Mills and John Mahama) who are now millionaires and billionaires, arrogantly displaying wealth, acquiring property left, centre and right and insulting the good people of Ghana because of their nouveau-riche status without doing same. 

It is sad that the nouveache-riche undeserved politicians of the umbrella fraternity who pretended to be socialists par excellence “hating” property and thereby teasing the “elephant fraternity” as property owning democrats at the time that they were not in power, are today Commanding the heights of Ghana’s economy – owning industries, businesses, services, houses, vehicles, equipment and directing the political destiny of Ama Ghana.

The umbrella fraternity that did not agree with lawyer President J. A. Kufour that evidence had to be provided before prosecuting people for corruption are today relying on the same legal reasoning and are demanding evidence of their corrupt practices or inappropriate means of acquiring wealth and property from their accusers.

But these criminally-minded persons know inside their hearts that but for their involvement in politics they were “nobodies” and perhaps could have remained so until they found legitimate means of acquiring wealth.

All sincere peace loving Ghanaians who knew these persons before January 2009 are convinced that politics has enabled these persons to elevate themselves from “poverty” to riches overnight. Persons who did not have even certificates as at 7 January 2009 and had therefore not worked (forget national service) in any reputable organization in their lives before that date are today owners of mansions, luxurious vehicles, fat bank accounts in and outside Ghana, huge sums of money in their bedrooms, in their vehicles, in their garages, in holes in their compounds, with their wives, girlfriends, family members, surrogates and proxies. 

Do we need any evidence to support our allegations of corruption against members of the NDC government when these people lived in our communities with our people and their social and economic positions were known and today because of their political leanings they are owners of everything one can imagine and think of and yet they want to be seen as angels!! Today, filling stations, vehicles and mansions owned by these NDC personnel and their surrogates are everywhere (in cities and rural areas).

God, Almighty, Immanent, Omnipotent has seen all of them from the President to the lowest NDC member who have stolen public money.  Technicalities may be used to “exonerate” these persons but their hearts will continue to be dark and judgment day awaits them.  They profess to be Christians and Muslims and perhaps pagans and yet they go against the ten commandments of the Lord.  They go to church periodically, visit the mosque on Fridays, consult their shrines, mallams and soothsayers on elected days and yet refuse to accept that they are corrupt and involved in creating, looting and sharing of the resources of the state with impurity. 

If they look at their assets as at 7 January 2009 and compare them with what they have today would they honestly need the Martin Amidus, Bawumiahs and the pressure groups to tell them that they have been and are corrupt and thieves? How come that suddenly people who in yester-years could not afford even meals (once in a day) are today father-Christmas sharing goods and money to people (the poor in particular) for all sorts of political favours? If they could not distribute a piece of cloth and a bar of key soap in 2008, how come that after January 2009 and especially after 2010 they are going round the country with vans, trucks and vehicles sharing bales of cloth, boxes of soap, drums of cooking oil, boxes of sardines, mackerel, cutlasses and notes of cedis under various guises? 

How come that suddenly they are acquiring or have acquired degrees, diplomas and certificates from Tertiary institutions when in fact in the 1970s and 1980s that they “passed” their ordinary level school certificate and general certificate examinations they could not go to training colleges, universities, agricultural institutions, nursing training schools, Institutes of Professional Studies, Sixth form Secondary Schools? Yet in a matter of years some of these “looters” are using their looted money and resources to acquire first, second and third degrees and professional degrees even in law!!!

Commercial education indeed! How come that these persons could not enroll at the Legons, KNUSTS, UCCS, UEWS, UDS, UMATS (Government/State Universities) but have found it appropriate to “pay their way” in the private tertiary institutions and the public tertiary institutions operating purely on commercial basis?

It is all these that have spurred Commanders in our communities to prepare for their rainy days by joining the CLS Division of the umbrella fraternity.  That is the order of the day.  The political leadership of Ghana today, their cronies, family members, girl friends and boyfriends are the ones creating the “enabling environment” for the leaders in our community to create, loot and share the few resources meant for the general welfare, well-being and operational needs of each and every member of our community.
Being insatiable, just as the leading members of the umbrella fraternity, our leaders in this community are allocating to themselves the few resources without caring about what the ordinary soldier, policeman, immigration officer, customs officer, fireman/woman, prison officer or national security agent would wear, arm himself or work with.  

Our leaders are going on frivolous trips especially to China and Brazil collecting fat All Inclusive Allowances and yet are being catered for by the responsible Defence Advisers/Attach├ęs to the detriment of officers and men who go on courses and official duties. 
 
Again, money meant for peace support operations go into the pockets of our Commanders while vital vehicles and equipment meant for these operations are not bought. Where the items are bought, their qualities are inferior and at very astronomically inflated prices thereby denying the security services and Ama Ghana real value for money.  

There are Staff Officers at Service and General Headquarters who sit in Ghana and collect fatter “allowances” from these peace support operations far in excess of what the real participants collect in the Area of Operation (AO).

 For instance, a Chief Staff Officer at the Army Headquarters kept collecting money meant for the maintenance of the contingent’s equipment in the AO leaving the poor Command and Staff Officers helpless. 
With this development, the Commanding officers also started appropriating to themselves allowances and budgetary allocations meant for their subordinate Commanders, the unit’s equipment and vehicles thereby undermining the generational capabilities, capacities and effectiveness of Ghanaian troops in the AO.  The poor soldiers on day and night patrols suffered as a result of the looting by Commanders at home and in the field