Last week, Brigadier Sampson Adeti, Chief of Staff, General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) made a disturbing headline. He was reported to have usurped a Nissan double cabin pickup donated by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to the Southern Command of the Ghana Army of which he was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) until his new appointment.
Although the story as carried by the Daily Guide suggested that he laid claim to the vehicle because it was personally given to him, documents, portions of which the paper quoted proved otherwise. Indeed a top BoG official explained that the bank does not make such donations to individuals and so the General was being economical with the truth out of an ill-motive.
We are very sorry that things turned out the way they did. The one-star General should have known better as not to usurp what was meant for the Command for himself and even proceeding to defend himself when the media met him over the subject.
The apex bank could not have made a personal donation to a GOC because; that would have been at variance with the laid-down procedures of the bank. For the General to maintain his position when that was not the truth he has exposed himself to public ridicule a situation which is not consistent with the high office of Chief of Staff he holds.
An officer is a gentleman and sincerity being one of the attributes of a gentleman we are constrained to note that he has lost it.
As a leader we also observe that the General’s conduct will not endear him to the troops who are not oblivious to the development. They could even begin to pose more questions about what other items were donated by the bank about which they are unaware. What could have happened to these stuff?
Leadership by example is an important demand on our leaders both in the military and public life. It is for this reason that Brigadier Adeti in our estimation has not exuded the traits worthy of emulation by the junior officers who for instance have just started their military careers and would need to look up to personalities of his standing as role models.
Those who are given positions of responsibilities should eschew greed as an effective means of protecting their dignity otherwise they would destroy the image they have built for themselves over the years.
Having served the number of years he has in the colours, it is regrettable that Brigadier Adeti would allow a lone pickup vehicle which he can personally purchase almost effortlessly to put such irreversible dent on his record.
We wonder whether Brigadier is still maintaining his position as the legitimate owner of the Nissan pickup vehicle at the centre of the storm especially since the apex bank’s word is the last.
Such attitude is akin to the political realm not the military. The Ghana Armed Forces should not be embroiled in an unnecessary tug-of-war over a Nissan pickup.
In order to establish the truth of ownership of the vehicle at the centre of this controversy, a Board of Inquiry in our estimation should be set up to probe the matter. It would be in the interest of the General, the Armed Forces and the BOG to take this path.