Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nkabom Promotions

There is no doubt that the polarization of the Ghana Armed Forces is counter-productive, unhelpful and detrimental to our national interest and cohesion. Consequently, any positive attempts geared at addressing and eventually uprooting it is in the right direction.

The good will and conducive atmosphere necessary for its dismantling and demolition are right here and now. But that bold action and effort require real good faith on the part of all stakeholders especially the beneficiaries and victims of the unfortunate development.

The grand agenda of seeking and promoting the well-being, welfare and interest of one group (identified by political and ethnic expediency) to the detriment of the other or others designed by the Kotokas, Kofi Awonor Williams and Amedekas (of one man one matchet fame), nourished by the Tsikatas, Quainoos and Klutses and blossomed by the Biekros, Adokpas, Fiawoos, Boimahs, Allohs, Agbekas and Beick-Baffours are destroying the esprit de corps of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The AFRC, PNDC and NDC periods were characterized by ethnocentric and political vendetta and victimization of persons perceived to be “reactionaries” stooges of imperialists, enemies of the revolution and dissidents. The dichotomy had been obvious and very disturbing during the era of former President John Mahama.

Several examples have been cited in this column proving how bad the situation had become. Most Akans perceived to be sympathizers of the NPP were living in fear and uncertainty. Recruitment and enlistment into; promotions and appointments in and releases from the Ghana Armed Forces had been based more on “political and ethnic corrections” than merit, competence, abilities and skills.

Very skillful, competent and capable officers were arbitrarily released on account of age when they deserved to be promoted in order to be able to serve some more years with the colours while officers with very doubtful and low integrity, morality and know-how have been catapulted to the enviable ranks of Generals and Colonels.

The ranks of Generals and Colonels have been cheapened for incompetent, corrupt and intellectually bankrupt officers of the “Agbadza and Batakari” fraternities while the more competent, morally upright, academically and professionally very suitable officers (males and females) have been retired compulsorily in a well planned, coordinated and executed manner.

The main issue that the current government and its “born-again” Military High Command had to grapple with is whether to continue with the polarization strategizes in the Ghana Armed Forces or to dismantle it. 

His Excellency the President of the Republic, Nana Addo, has said and demonstrated that he is a “father” for all Ghanaians and not members of the NPP as the John Mahamas did.

Consequently, he has charged the political and military heads of the Ministry of Defence to ensure that all officers and men are given equal and equitable opportunities devoid of any discrimination (political, ethnic, gender or religious). Strengthened by these assurances and the confirmation of the Chief of Naval and Air Staff and the Commandants who were appointed by the Mahama Administration, the current Military High Command has released its first major postings/appointments/promotions on 28th April 2017.

These postings/appointments/promotions have appropriately been tagged as “NKABOM PROMOTIONS” by this column.

It is a laudable expression of faith by the NPP Administration and the current Military High Command. It is proper that all military officers, irrespective of their ethnic and political backgrounds, should be allowed to develop their professional talents, knowledge, abilities, competences and skills to the optimum.

We would, however, wish to caution that an effective implementation of the “Nkabom” policy depends on the principle “principle of reciprocity”.

There is the need to be sure or to ensure that the “undeserved officers” who are beneficiaries of this “magnanimous Nkabom policy” have become real born again professionally and politically. 

Any bad faith on the part of these “NDC officers” who are pretending to be sympathizers of the NPP owing to opportunism and political prostitution will have disastrous political consequences for the NPP government in the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections and subsequent elections.

Real, effective and durable “Nkabom” can only be achieved when the playing field becomes equitable and leveled. Where the playing field has been skewed in favour of the NDC owing to the two NDC regimes of 1993-2001 and 2009 to 2017, then it is only proper that circumspection, care and diligence should be employed in stretching the olive leave and the “palm Sunday Cross”.

We can state without any contradiction that most of the “undeserved beneficiaries” of the postings/appointments/promotions of 28th April 2017 will continue to sabotage the NPP Administration by protecting the interests of their mother political party. 

These officers are “dyed in wool” NDC members and cannot be changed no matter the bait, enticements, opportunities, appointments and promotions. This fact must not be lost on the likes of the Nitiwuls, Oduros, Okyeres and the Kan Dapaahs. If those who matter in the NPP Administration continue to live in the illusion that these undeserved officers have seen the light and are therefore loyal to the NPP Administration, they would be deceiving themselves.

These NDC officers cannot and will never change to become loyal to the Nana Addo led NPP government. Most of these officers have worked against and uttered very uncomplimentary remarks about His Excellency President Nana Addo.  

Our scouts and sources have been following and listening into utterances and monitoring actions and inactions of these NDC officers from the levels of two-star Generals (Major General and equivalents in the Navy and Airforce) and are saddened by some of the revelations.

We are therefore in agreement with the sentiments of the Patriotic Concerned Officers and Men (PACOM) and demand caution on the part of the NPP Administration in giving appointments and promotions to these dyed in wool NDC officers pretending to be working favorably for the NPP Administration.

At best these officers see themselves as professionals who have earned their status, ranks and appointments by dint of hardwork, courses and professional development and not political favour. It is sad that some of those officers are making those comments.

Why can’t the Faidoos and the Griffiths-Evans in particular and the Nagais show appreciation and gratitude to the NPP Administration?

The NPP Administration had the constitutional, statutory and conventional rights to change all the persons who were appointed Service Chiefs, Base Commanders, Commandants, Chiefs of Staff, Chief Staff Officers, Departmental Heads, Directors, Commanders and Commanding Officers of the Ghana Armed Forces by the Mahama Administration. In their places could appoint only persons believed to be loyal to the state and the NPP Administration.

Consequently, if the President has been so generous, magnanimous and nationalistic, the beneficiaries of that kind gesture should and must show appreciation and gratitude to the Commander-In-Chief instead of the careless and reckless comments and remarks emanating from them. That is the right and proper thing to do.

Unfortunately for the NPP Administration the two “carry-over” Service Chiefs, especially the Chief of Naval Staff, are using their positions to strengthen the capacity of the NDC and not the NPP.

Rear Admiral Faidoo is using his “powers of Command” to chart a succession plan in the appointment of Chiefs of Naval Staff for the short, medium and long terms.

Firstly, for the first time in the annals of the Ghana Armed Forces has been appointed the Chief of Staff and promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral within a space of three months. This officer is Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour, a former Military Secretary and immediate past FOC of the Eastern Naval Command at Tema. The most recent past Naval Chief of Staff was then Commodore and now Rear Admiral Geoffery Mawuli Biekro (Rtd).

Then Commodore GM Biekro was appointed the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces by Professor John Mills.  Then Commodore Biekro who was a very senior, more seasoned, experienced and matured naval officer was made the Chief of Staff for over four years (March 2009 to May 2013) without being promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. It was only when he was appointed the Chief of Naval Staff that he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral alongside Major General R Opoku-Adusei.

PACOM is wondering what is so special about Rear Admiral M Beick-Baffour that he should be appointed Chief of Staff over his four seniors and promoted Rear Admiral?

If it is because he is an active member of the NDC from the Volta Region and is required as part of the “Nkabom” policy of the NPP, then PACOM is advising the “Security Capos?” to be wary of him. All keen observers know that Rear Admiral Biekro was “more NDC” and Fearsome than Rear Admiral Biekro. 

The two however have a few similarities. They are both from the same general area of the Volta Region. They both appear to be gentle, soft and kind on the surface but beneath their smiles and “deceptive kindness”, they could be extremely dangerous as they demonstrated in the “demolition” of Akan and other officers suspected to be sympathetic to the ideals of the NPP. 

Most of the decisions to retire Akan and other officers prematurely on political and ethnocentric grounds were hatched and executed crafty with their inputs so I hear.

Today, another Voltarian also from the same general area has been appointed the Military Secretary with Rear Admiral M Beick-Baffour as the Chief of Staff.

Thus, the Biekro-Beick-Baffour partnership has metamorphosed into Beick-Baffour-Gyasensir duo.

With Brigadier General CK Gyasensir as the Military Secretary the fusion is complete and history is going to repeat itself. This combination is to work against those who are clamoring for Rear Admiral Amoama to become the next Chief of Naval Staff. The same blackmail that has been used to deny some very competent Akan officers as Chiefs of the Services and Staff would be used again or Amoama’s godfather can see him through.

They would argue again that there is no Voltarian as a Service Chief and therefore the slot must go to him instead of Rear Admiral Amoama.

What is also worrisome is the alacrity with which Rear Admiral Faidoo has promoted Naval Captains Yakubu and Walker to the rank of Commodore far ahead of their Army counterparts.

The reason is obvious. The two naval officers are part of the cabal. The cabal had the Adokpas, Biekros and Beick-Baffours actively operating during the NDC ear of Professor Mills and John Mahama.

Rear Admiral Faidoo cannot deny the fact the two officers are his “pets” and fit perfectly well into the NDC succession plan. Just as Presidents Rawlings and Mahama did in 2000 and 2016 respectively by appointing and promoting officers as two and one star Generals and their equivalents, the current strategy is to impose the likes of Rear Admiral M Beick-Baffour, Commodores Yakubu and Walker on the NPP Administration in 2020 and 2021.

The NDC is out of power but they want to continue to control the Ghana Armed Forces.

Unfortunately, the Security Advisers and Ministers cannot see through the strategy. The situation is becoming worse now. Most NPP inclined officers and men are losing hope in the current trend of affairs. 

What a pity

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