Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nkabom Promotions (2)

Unity, it is said, is strength. Equity based on diversity is also highly commendable. Thus, theoretically, the Nkabom Promotions of 28th April 2017 in the Ghana Armed Forces reflect the Regional (if you like ethnic) diversity in our society and the desired esprit de corps.

However, serious concerns continue to be expressed over the Nkabom Promotions by members of the Patriotic Concerned Officers and Men (PACOM) owing to the injustices inherent in them. It may seem to be an exercise in futility by PACOM but posterity will judge and vindicate them.

The political costs of some of the recklessness in the Nkabom Promotions may be enormous and history seems to be repeating itself. Members of PACOM are quick to remind the political authorities and the Military High Command of what happened between 7th January 2001 and 6th January 2008 when his Excellency President John Kufuor was the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The same “father for all”, “unity in diversity”, “promoting national cohesion and development” cost the NPP and its flagbearer in the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The Military Commands of Generals SK Obeng and JB Danquah had been infiltrated by vicious NDC active and card bearing members. Caution had been thrown to the wind and therefore political opponents of the NPP had overgrown wings and taken over the decision making processes at both strategic and tactical levels.

The status quo had been maintained except the cosmetic changes of the Chief of Defence Staff and some Service and Formation Commanders, especially during the era of General SK Obeng.

For instance, the first Military Assistant of General SK Obeng was Colonel PK Senchim. Colonel PK Senchim had always been a dyed in wool NDC card bearing member and was a master strategist in “destroying” officers suspected to be NPP sympathizers.

Unfortunately for the NPP, Colonel PK Sechim was elevated to a more powerful position as the Army Secretary at the Army Headquarters after serving General SK Obeng as a Military Assistant (MA) and Assistant Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters.

After General SK Obeng had insisted on the removal of the late Brigadier General Francis Mensah-Yawson as the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces and replaced him with then Brigadier General SA Odotei, Colonel PK Senchim became the “right hand man” for both Generals SK Obeng and SA Odotei.

It therefore became a matter of course when, against all useful pieces of advice, General SA Odotei was appointed the Chief of Army Staff in May 2005 and he also appointed Colonel PK Senchim as the Army Secretary.

Colonel PK Senchim used his position as Army Secretary to create anger, disaffection, despondency and hatred in, for and amongst very professional officers who he suspected to be sympathetic to the ideals of the NPP.

Colonel PK Senchim survived the change in government and stayed at the office of the Army Secretary for almost two years when General JN Adinkra was the Chief of Army Staff. Colonel PK Senchim nurtured then Naval Captain and now Rear Admiral M Beick-Baffour in the NDC agenda. Naval Captain M Beick-Baffour was then the Deputy Military Secretary while the equally wicked but innocent looking Brigadier General S Adams was the Military Secretary.

A master strategist that he was, Colonel PK Senchim positioned then Lieutenant Colonel JK Akou-Adjei (Nyebro) as the Deputy Army Secretary during the brief period that then Colonel and now Brigadier General F Vib-Sanziri was the Army Secretary. The departure of Colonel F Vib-Sanziri on secondment to the UN, paved the way for the “Akou-Adjei –Beick Baffour partnership” that destroyed very brilliant, promising professional Akan and non Akan officers suspected to be sympathizers of the NPP.

Today, we have on our hands Rear Admiral M Beick-Baffour as the Chief of Staff and Brigadier General CK Gyasensir as the Military Secretary and the Okyeres, Kan-Dapaahs, Nitiwuls and Oduros are not seeing through the danger ahead, only time will tell!!

As for Brigadier General Okyere, the least said about him the better. He is a “real enemy” of the NPP fraternity. At beat, he is a “traitor”, a collaborator of the NDC Agenda and a grand opportunist par excellence. He thinks he is a “tin god”. He has so soon forgotten that he is a “mortal human being”. He is behaving as if he knows everything on this earth and more than any other person. He is still bullying his way in all directions, refusing to delegate, performing strategic and tactical duties and operations all over.

At almost 70 years, Brigadier General Okyere should not deceive himself into thinking that without him, the world would come to an end and the NPP government of Nana Addo would not and cannot survive. His partnership with Albert Kan Dapaah is increasingly becoming a liability for the NPP Administration.

The two “Security Capos” are not in touch with the feelings of the grassroots supporters/sympathizers of the NPP. They are living in the skies but pretending to be firm on the ground.

The question that members of PACOM, NPP door-to-door campaigners and youth (who are yearning for employment and development) are asking is that where were these two security capos during the electioneering campaign of 2016?

Did they not say that they were “elder statesmen” and could not be involved in the day to day campaign of the NPP and Nana Addo?

Did they not see and hear of Honourables Alan Kyeremangten and Afisa Otiko Djaba who crossed the breadth and length of Ghana campaigning vigorously for the NPP and Nana Addo?

Surely and certainly they did but could not be bothered. Baboons should enjoy when monkeys have worked!!!

Is it not history repeating itself? When Honourable Kan Dapaah was the Minister of Defence and Brigadier General Okyere was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Southern Command of the Ghana Army in 2008 elections, what happened?

Did the two “Security Capos” not abandon the ship in deep troubled waters?

When President John Kufuor was heading for the Tain Constituency for the run-off that became the decider of the 2008 Presidential elections, where was then Honourable Albert Kan Dapaah, MP and Minister of Defence? 

Cowards die many times before their death but the case of this gentleman is that cowards get rewards many times in a government of the NPP!!

What about Brigadier General Okyere? Did he not abandon the Commander-In-Chief and the Chief of Defence Staff during the run-off of the 2008 Presidential elections? When the NDC hooligans gathered in front of the premises of the Electoral Commission causing disturbances, threatening war and mayhem what did he do as the GOC of the Southern Command of the Ghana Army?

Did he not say to the hearing of “living NPP supporters” that “if the NPP is losing the elections, they should accept the results in good faith and pack out of the Castle?” Did he not start collaborating there and then with the NDC executives and “security capos”? Yes, he did.   

Was General Okyere not promised a higher appointment and promotion? Did General Okyere not refuse to be promoted Major General in the final promotions of the NPP in December 2008 which were published on 6th January 2009?

Why did he decline that juicy and appropriate offer? 

A precedent of that sort had been set in 2000 by the NDC Administration of Jerry Rawlings. The two GOCs of the Army were promoted Major Generals in early 2000. For the avoidance of any doubt, Major Generals AH Anyidoho (father of Koku Anyidoho) and FY Mahama, GOC Northern and Southern Commands of the Ghana Army respectively were promoted from Brigadier General to Major General in the first quarter of 2000 before, Brigadier Generals Charles Okae, and Nii Carl Coleman and Commodores Adoko and Gbena were promoted Major Generals and Rear Admirals respectively in December 2000.

The refusal by Brigadier General Okyere to be promoted to the rank of Major General is very significant and must be noted very well (Nota Bena) by all positive thinkers, analysts and die-hard supporters of the NPP.

It is with this background information that we wish to proceed with our objective and candid comments on the “Nkabom Promotions” of 28th April 2017.

It is a well-known fact that as an Engineer officer (Combat but not professional engineer); Brigadier General Okyere has shown open bias in favour of engineer officers in the Ghana Armed Forces. He favoured the appointment of Colonel BK Onwona as ADC to the President over others when it was apparent that he would be due for promotion to the rank of Brigadier General and was also on secondment to the Armed Forces of Rwanda in a “Defence Cooperation Pact”.

Again, against all advice, Brigadier General Okyere has insisted on maintaining Brigadier General F Ofori as the Commander Support Services Brigade and has also ruled out any probe into the activities of Brigadier General F Ofori when he was the Director of Engineer Services. 

Similarly, Brigadier General CK Gyasensir is to continue as Military Secretary in spite of the “danger” that he poses with Rear Admiral M Beick-Baffour as the Chief of Staff.

The more insulting and painful “engineer” sponsorship is the return of Colonel M Mustapha (GH/2426) to the Department of Defence Intelligence.

Colonel M Mustapha should be an “unwanted officer” at GHQ (DI) under the Presidency of Nana Addo. This is an officer who has demonstrated throughout his military career that he dislikes the NPP and Nana Addo.

As a “barracks boy” and commissioned as a second Lieutenant on 17th August 1990 into the Engineer Corps during the PNDC era of Jerry Rawlings, Colonel M Mustapha is a dyed-in-wool member of the NDC. It is not surprising that Colonel M Mustapha is 100% NDC. 

Even though he is a Ghanaian by birth, his biological father is not from Ghana but is at best an “ECOWAS citizen”. As the Commanding Officer of the 48 Engineer Regiment (successor to Brigadier General F Ofori) for a very long time, he is alleged to have used his resources, energies, efforts, military knowledge and position to work in favour of the NDC party to the detriment of the NPP.

However, he is alleged to have assisted Brigadier General Okyere during his tenure of office as CO 48 Engineer Regiment just as his predecessor Brigadier General F Ofori is alleged to have done. And therefore the reward by Brigadier General Okyere! 

The question that members of PACOM are asking is this: “should Brigadier General Okyere sacrifice national interest and security for a parochial “engineer corps solidarity”? The obvious answer is No. But will the “know-all” Brigadier General Okyere listen? Never!

What about the appointment of Colonel CK Lithur as the Deputy Director General Plans, Research and Development? Colonel CK Lithur is a blood relationship of Mr. Anthony Lithur, the Lawyer of the NDC and husband of Nana Oye Lithur. This officer contributed immensely to the defeat of the NPP at the “Tain run-off” in January 2009 as the final phase of the 2008 Presidential elections.

As the Second-In-Command of the 3rd Battalion of Infantry at the Liberation Barracks in Sunyani, he usurped the powers of the Commanding Officer, then Lieutenant Colonel Michael Ayisi Amoah (GH/2279). It was then Major CK Lithur who took charge of both the military and political operations in the Tain constituency. He facilitated the campaign of the NDC and denied the NPP any room to manoeuvre. He was the real master strategist who gave victory to the NDC and dealt a devastating blow to the NPP.

Today, with Brigadier General “know all” Okyere and former “Minister Extraordinaire” of Defence and now in charge of National Security, Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah around, this double-crossing officer has been made the Deputy Director General Plans, Research and Development. He is certainly going to evolve plans based on real, tangible and verifiable research to help develop the NDC to wrestle power from the NPP in 2020!!

The advice to Brigadier General RA Gyane is that please be wary of this “impious officer” and monitor him closely, 24/7 and 365 days to avoid a repeat of “Tain” in 2020.

Another appointment of grave concern to members of PACOM is that of Colonel S Gagakuma (GH/2430). This officer has been appointed the Director of Supply and Transport (DST) at this critical time that the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence owe the oil companies several millions of Ghana cedis for fuel and similar huge sums of money for food supplies made to the Armed Forces.

Currently, there are serious concerns about the availability of Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL) and food ration in the Ghana Armed Forces. The POL and food ration crises have been due to the accumulated arrears in payments to oil companies and food contractors.

The major challenges in the Supply and Transport Directorate are corruption, stealing, pilfering and diversion of fuel and food items. This canker will have to be uprooted with vim and vigour.
But can Colonel S Gagakuma do that job effectively and efficiently? The answer may be a big NO. The reason is that his hands are tainted. He needs cleans hands which he does not have. 

As a former Commanding Officer of the Base Supply Depot (BSD) during the NDC regimes of John Mills and John Mahama, he is alleged to have compromised his integrity so much for pecuniary considerations to the eyes and ears of subordinates commissioned officers, men and civilian employees of the Base Supply Depot. His subordinates know so much about that and will expose him or blackmail him should he attempt to do any “house cleaning”. Thus, Colonel S Gagakuma lacks the moral integrity and purity required for any anti-corruption strategies.

Another allegation against Colonel S Gagakuma is the way and manner by which he got Lieutenant Colonel BB Adjibadeck retired from the Ghana Armed Forces. Lieutenant Colonel BB Adjibadeck (GH/2458) was the Commanding Officer of the Base Supply Depot and 1 Mechanical Transport Battalion at various times when Colonel S Gagakuma was lurking around. Then Lieutenant Colonel S Gagakuma managed to use his Nyebro Army and Military Secretaries to get Lieutenant Colonel BB Adjibadeck retired compulsorily on account of age. Lieutenant Colonel BB Adjibadeck was suspected to be a sympathizer of the NPP.

So with the Gbevlo-Larteys and Biekros collaborating and cooperating very well, the “Northern” connection of the poor officer could not withstand the “Tsunami might” of the Nyebros. So the poor officer was denied the opportunity of ever becoming the Director of Supply and Transport even though he was senior to the Gagakumas.

What a pity!! The wickedness of man against his neighbour indeed!!

E!, what are we seeing at Serial 36 of the Annex A to GHQ/18023/MS dated 28th April 2017?
Lieutenant Colonel M Wumbei (GH/2916) is the new Commanding Officer of Defence MT Battalion. Have the authorities forgotten about the Three Musketeers of GAFCSC Senior Division? 

Anyways, fortunately, we have Brigadier General Abraham Yeboah Nsiah as the Chief Staff Officer at Army Headquarters. He was the member of the Directing Staff who apprehended the three officers for examination malpractices. They were initially withdrawn from the course but with pressure from Commodore GM Biekro, as Chief of Staff, the case was rendered nonsense and two of the officers were immediately sent to Nigeria’s prestigious Command and Staff College at Jaji with impunity.
Another member of the “GAFCSC Three” has also been re-posted to the Department of Inspector General’s Department (GHQ (IGD)) as the Director Outreach and Best Practice. 

Oh God what a paradox! How can an officer caught red handed involved in examination malpractices be made “a watch dog” over potential wrongdoers in the Ghana Armed Forces?

Where are the Armed Forces drifting to? Where have the standards fallen to? Is discipline still a hallmark of our Armed Forces?

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