Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Anger In The Military

It may be an understatement that there is anger in all the barracks (Military, Police, Prisons, Immigration, Fire Service and Customs).

All the ardent supporters for change and indeed the return of the NPP to executive and legislative power feel betrayed, dejected, disappointed and humiliated owing to the unexpected turn of events and developments in the various Services, Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Authorities and Boards.

It is a fact today that the NPP and its former Presidential Candidate and now President of the Republic are in power but they are not in effective control of the political, economic and social sectors of the Ghanaian society.

The NDC managed to position its supporters, sympathizers and members in charge of all the security services, MDAs, economic and social heights of the Ghanaian society. The NDC embarked on a massive recruitment drive in order to get its people in charge of all that they survey in Ghana.

By the strategy, the NDC has empowered its members and supporters to the extent that only bold, decisive and uncompromising stance would have to be taken by the Commander-In-Chief, his representatives and appointees to the various MDAs, Security Services, Institutions, Authorities, Boards and Organizations in order to regain control over, establish and maintain sanity in all the public sectors.

The NDC is poised to sabotage the NPP in its efforts to implement all the attractive manifesto and campaign promises. With the looted money, property and recruited personnel in all the public sectors, the NDC is preparing feverishly and seriously to “buy back” political power.

Most NPP sympathizers, supporters and members in the barracks are very worried over these developments especially against the background that “very known NDC officers and men are “still in charge” of most of the sensitive positions and appointments.

Most of the NPP loyalists are calling for REAL CHANGE and not COSMETIC CHANGE.

For instance, in the Ghana Armed Forces, most NPP loyalists are disappointed in the appointments made so far. The recycling of officers in the Military High Command left much to be desired. All the John Mahama faithfuls are still in charge of very sensitive positions. The fear of the NPP loyalists is that the longer the NDC and John Mahama faithfuls are left in very sensitive positions, the more difficult it will be for the NPP to have an effective command and control of the Armed Forces.

The NDC faithfuls would derail all plans by the NPP to improve upon the conditions, welfare and well-being of the Security Services. The retention of the NDC loyalists would not make it possible for the NPP to deal with the corruption and destruction that have taken place in the Ghana Armed Forces. There is no doubt that a lot of corrupt practices, inappropriate actions and malpractices took place in the Ghana Armed Forces between 7 January 2009 and 6 January 2017.

Right from the time of Generals JH Smith as Minister for Defence and PA Blay as the Chief of Defence Staff respectively through the appointments of Vice Admiral M Quashie and Air Marshal M Samson-Oje as the Chiefs of Defence Staff to date, there have been several allegations of corrupt practices, inappropriate actions and malpractices that require urgent investigations and appropriate corrective measures.

For instance, various lands of the Ghana Armed Forces or the state under the care or control of the Ghana Armed Forces have been misappropriated. Some of these lands have either been stolen or shared among some former and current members of the Military High Command, politicians, family members, friends and businessmen of the NDC fraternity.

In some cases, under the guise of the Public Private Partnership (PPP), military lands, facilities, installations and property have been given away for selfish reasons to the detriment of the Ghana Armed Forces and public interest. Lands in Accra, Sekondi-Takoradi, Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale have been alienated under agreements that are inimical to the interests of the Ghana Armed Forces and nation.

Some former Generals and serving officers were and are still part of the rot that took place and is still taking place in the Ghana Armed Forces.

The issue of acquisition of military assets, accoutrements and necessaries must be re-examined to see whether the Ghana Armed Forces had real value for money.

Another project that needs thorough investigation is the Armed Forces Bank which exists currently in the form of a Non-Banking Financial Institution. The Services Integrity Savings and Loans (SIS&L) Financial Institution must be subjected to forensic audit. The processes, procedures and strategies used and culminating in the establishment of the Services Integrity Savings and Loans (SIS&L) Financial Institution must be thoroughly investigated. 

The role of Brigadier General AK Adokpa (the former Director General Defence Industries Department and Director Resettlement) and his MAWULI schoolmates must be made known to the public.

Issues related to the establishment of the Provident Fund, its management and position or role in relation to the establishment of the Services Integrity Savings and Loans (SIS&L) Financial Institution must be known.

For instance, who were and are the managers of the Provident Fund? What was the initial amount deposited with the Fund Managers? How far has the Fund grown? What is the real relationship between the Provident Fund and the Services Integrity Savings and Loans (SIS&L) Financial Institution? 

Another area of concern to the NPP loyalists in the Ghana Armed Forces is the management of their peace-keeping money and allowances and the acquisition of vehicles and essential equipment for peace support operations in Southern Sudan, Liberia, Lebanon, Ivory Coast and Mali.

There are allegations that various types of Chinese second-hand vehicles and equipment that became unserviceable within extremely short periods were acquired by former President John Mahama and his Military High Command for home use and peace support operations.

Most of these acquisitions were done when then Commodore Biekro and Major General Saagbul were Chiefs of Staff; General PA Blay, Admiral Quashie and Air Marshal Oje were Chiefs of Defence Staff and John Mahama was Vice President and President of the Republic of Ghana respectively.

Ghana has become a laughing stock in some of the Mission Areas. A lot of vehicles and equipment used by Ghanaian peacekeepers are not as suitable and serviceable as per the standards of the United Nations. The situation has become more worrisome now that Ghana is operating under the “Wet Lease System” which requires that Ghana should pre-finance the acquisition of all necessaries for their peace support operations to be reimbursed later by the United Nations.

All these concerns could be properly addressed if the Ghana Armed Forces were to be given a truly independent, impartial, honest and loyal Military High Command. It is feared that apart from General OB Akwa whose “hands are clean”, the same cannot be said of the rest of the Military High Command appointed or re-affirmed between the 8th and 10th February 2017.

 The current members of the Military High Command with the exception of General OB Akwa may be considered as direct allies of the immediate past members of the Military High Command.

The dodgiest member of the current Military High Command is my new found friend, Commodore Moses Beick-Baffour. The links between Commodore M Beick-Baffour  and General PA Blay, Vice Admiral Quashie, Rear Admiral Biekro, Rear Admiral Kofi Faidoo and Brigadier General AK Adokpa are such that no real investigations into all these allegations of malfeasance, malpractices and inappropriate actions detrimental to the interests of the Ghana Armed Forces and the nation could be conducted with him as the Chief of Staff.

The position of the Chief of Staff is very important in the Ghana Armed Forces. The Chief of Staff is the nerve centre of the administration, command and control of the Chief of Defence Staff over the affairs of the Armed Forces. The Chief of Staff coordinates the activities of the three services-Army, Navy and Airforce.
Again, the Chief of Staff coordinates the activities of the three highest institutions of the Ghana Armed Forces namely Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS), Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).

Moreover, the office of the Chief of Staff is the link between the foreign missions of the Ghana Armed Forces (Defence Advisers, Defence, Military, Naval and Airforce Attaches) and the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs.

Additionally, the Chief of Staff plays major roles in the appointments and promotions of officers for both tri-service and single service vacancies.

Considering the fact that the Chief of Staff would play very useful and key roles in the need for real change in order to have equity and sanity in the Ghana Armed Forces, the past records and posture of Commodore Moses Beick-Baffour make him unsuitable and absurd for the appointment of the Chief of Staff.

My new friend Commodore Beick-Baffour has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubts that he cannot be trusted to be fair, impartial and independent in his judgment. He is an active member of the cabal that seeks the best for only his tribesmen and perhaps those who are loyal to the NDC while at the same time he seeks to destroy Akan officers and Non Akans suspected to be loyal to the NPP.

A few examples would be given to support these assertions. 

As the Military Secretary, Commodore Beick-Baffour did everything possible to ensure the appointments and promotions of his tribesmen while denying same to some Akans and Non Akans suspected to be NPP sympathizers.

For instance then Colonels Alex Kofi Appiah-Agyapong (GH/1930), Cecilia Akyiaa-Gambrah (GH/2134) and Anthony Komla Adokpa (GH/1957) had 1956 as years of birth. The dates of birth of the three officers are 26th October 1956, 22nd March 1956 and 20th March 1956 respectively. Thus, on account of age (57 years), the three officers were due for retirement compulsorily in 2013 (i.e. 20th March 2013 for the then Colonel AK Adokpa, 22nd March 2013 for Colonel C Akyiaa-Ganbrah and 26th October 2013 for Colonel AK Appiah-Agyapong).

The only thing that could save any of the three officers from the imminent compulsory retirement was either promotion to the rank of Brigadier General or an extension of service by either their Service Commanders or the Chief of Defence Staff.

Interestingly, Colonels C Akyiaa-Gambrah and AK Appiah-Agyapong were released strictly according to their dates of birth while then Colonel AK Adokpa was made to stay in the Service as a Colonel from 20th March 2013 till 20th December 2013 when he was promoted Brigadier General and confirmed as the Director General Defence Industries Department (DG DID) which appointment he had been holding since 26th April 2013.

Additionally, Brigadier General AK Adokpa maintained his position as Director of Resettlement at the General Headquarters.

Another wicked action of Commodore Beick-Baffour is the compulsory retirement of Colonel AK Asare (GH/1980). Colonel AK Asare was made to act as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) then Northern Command when the former GOC, then Brigadier General R Opoku-Adusei (GH/2127) was elevated to the status of Chief of Army Staff.

Rather strangely, Colonel AK Asare was made to hand over his duties as Acting GOC to then Colonel JA Boampong (GH/2176), a very close friend of Brigadier General AK Adokpa.

Subsequently, Colonel AK Asare was compulsorily retired while Colonel JA Boampong was promoted Brigadier General. Though Brigadier General JA Boampong is an Ashanti, by his closest association with Brigadier General AK Adokpa and the cabal, he was considered as a loyal NDC officer and rewarded appropriately. Currently, he is the Defence Adviser to China.

Yet another roguish action of Commodore Beick-Baffour is the compulsory retirement of Naval Captain EK Ankamah (GH/2159). 

Commodore Beick-Baffour always saw Captain (GN) EK Ankamah as a threat to his ambition to becoming a Chief of Naval Staff (CNS). Naval Captain EK Ankamah and now Rear Admiral Seth Amoama were mates of Intake RCC 23 and were therefore a year senior in service to Commodore Beick-Baffour of Intake RCC 24.  

The main competitors (or rivals) of Commodore Beick-Baffour were Commodore S Appiah-Mensah (rtd) and Commodore AB Osei (GH/2076).

Fortunately for Commodore Beick-Baffour his closest intake rival then Commander Seth Appiah-Mensah retired from the Navy voluntarily after winning an American Visa Lotto thereby relocating with his entire family to the United States. Then Commander S Appiah-Mensah left his appointment as the Second ADC to President JA Kufuor (at a time then Colonel Adjei, the substantive ADC, had been earmarked for appointment as Defence Adviser, London, UK)

With a sigh of relief, after the departure of Commader S Appiah-Mensah, Naval Captain and later Commodore Beick-Baffour set out to deal with his real competitors. It was easier to deal with the threat of Naval Captain Ankamah who appeared to be “over-aged” as compared with then Naval Captain AB Osei.

With 1st July 1958 as his date of birth, Naval Captain Kofi Ankamah was due for compulsory retirement on account of age on 1st July 2015. Commodore Beick-Baffour ensured that Naval Captain Ankamah was not promoted to the rank of Commodore to escape compulsory retirement at the age of 57 years.

In the case of then Naval Captain AB Osei, it took the divine intervention of God for him to be promoted Commodore on 2nd November 2016 after Commodore Beick-Baffour had handed over the duties of Military Secretary to his kinsman, Brigadier General CK Gyasensir (GH/2166).

Even on the 2nd November 2016 now Commodore AB Osei was saved by the obvious one sided promotion of only his tribesmen to the rank of Brigadier General and its equivalents. It was on the same 2nd November 2016, when it had become obvious that the NDC would lose the elections in December 2016, that Colonels CK Agbeka (GH/2282) and SMKAE Ayer (GH/2033) were promoted Brigadier Generals. It was the possible political costs of those “Ewes promotions” that enabled the “Hand of God” to touch the heart of President John Mahama to include the name of Commodore AB Osei. 

The promotion of Commodore AB Osei was a surprise to the cabal and infuriated them. Commodore Beick-Baffour had worked everything out with the “double face” Rear Admiral Faidoo to deny then Naval Captain AB Osei promotion so that he could be released in December 2016 as his date of birth is 15th December 1959. The promotion of Commodore AB Osei was a set-back for the Faidoo-Beick-Baffour agenda.

One would have thought that with the advent of the NPP administration of Nana Addo, the duo of Faidoo-Beick-Baffour would discontinue with their diabolical plan of retiring or frustrating Commodore AB Osei. That was not to be. The cabal has managed to get Commodore AB Osei posted out of the Ministry of Defence (the Square) to a humiliating appointment at the Western Naval Command where his junior is to be the FOC. 

As the Principal General Staff Officer (PGSO) at the Sqaure, Commodore AB Osei was influential and therefore had a better job satisfaction than what he is being offered. The sad aspect of Commodore AB Osei’s ill treatment is the fact that he would have been very useful to the new Minister of Defence and Chief Director owing to his long stay at the Square.

The outgone government appointed Dr Dzikunu as Chief Director in November 2016 just a few weeks before the 2016 elections as part of the grand agenda to be in control of all they survey while the NPP exercises political power. As members of the reconstituted Armed Forces Council, Rear Admiral Faidoo, Dr. Dzikunu and the FSM with a surprising tacit approval of the Minister of Defence have managed to push Commodore AB Osei to oblivion in order to have their way at the Square.

The Chief Director, Rear Admiral Faidoo and Commodore Beick-Baffour are not comfortable with Commodore AB OSei’s powerful appointment at the Square. They think that he knows “too much” and “so much” about developments at the Ministry of Defence. Obviously, Commodore AB Osei has become a “threat” to their interests.

But objective minded loyal NPP officers and men are worried over the transfer or postings of Commodore AB Osei. The replacement of Commodore AB Osei with Brigadier General Musah Whajah is even more worrisome and incongruous. General Whajah is one of the senior-most Brigadier Generals and was therefore expecting an elevation to the rank of two star general as was done for Major General SK Adeti.

Moreover, any human resource expert would recommend General Whajah for a key field and command appointment such as Commandant MATS or continuation as GOC even if it for the Northern Command rather than a demanding staff appointment as PGSO at the Square.

It is quite surprising that the Defence Minister could not read through the trap of the cabal to “remove” Commodore AB Osei from the Square for selfish rather than service interest. With the departure of Commodore AB Osei and the arrival of Colonel S Adorkor to beef up the already “NDC infested Square”, the stage is set for leakage of secret and confidential information about the Ministry of Defence and the Ghana Armed Forces.

With this decision on Commodore AB Osei, the Minister of Defence, the NPP as a party and government are the losers. This decision could be reviewed to avert any catastrophe.