Ghana’s poorly-equipped military retiring young officers?
Ghana’s poorly-equipped military retiring young officers for their 60-plus seniors to stay longer even on contracts and phony promotions.
There is uneasy calm in the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) over a decision by the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, to retire some top seven colonels at age 57, to create room for the promotion of their senior officers, many of whom are due for their mandatory retirement.
Senior officers, mostly Brigadier Generals, some of whom have crossed 60 years, are being kept in active service because they are perceived to be his loyalists, as well as sympathizers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
According to The Herald’s military sources, they will soon be promoted to the ranks of 3-star Major Generals under the ruse of expanding Ghana military.
The said promotion, will see the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) become a 4-star Lt. General in a military force that’s a little over 16,000 and described as highly deprived logistically.
The Ghana Army is less than 11, 000 men with the Northern Command not up to even brigade, as it is short of 2,000 officers and men.
The Ghana Air Force is less than 2,500 and only has a transporter aircraft and two helicopters; woefully inadequate for an armed forces.
The Ghana Navy, is also less than 2,500, and doesn’t have a warship and any sophisticated vessels for naval operations.
Many in the forces feel that efforts should rather be concentrated at improving the logistical situation of the military, rather than the naked partisan politics which has taken root in the institution with old and tired officers kept in uniform on the basis of their sympathies to the ruling party.
Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, currently Chief of Army Staff of the Ghana Army, has been cited by many as the brain behind the move to get the NPP loyalists to remain in the force through the creation of phony brigades.
The Colonels numbering seven in all, who are being processed to go home, have been labeled as sympathizers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Strikingly, all of them are from the Volta Region. They include; Col Asem, Col Dargbe, Col Amegashie, Col Ahelie, Col Gbedawo, Col Kemetse and Col Ahonku.
The Herald information is that, they have all gone for exit interviews and will soon be packing out of military facilities.
What is interesting is that, most of them were due for promotion to the rank of Brigadier Generals, but their superior officers deliberately sat on their promotions to have them sent home on compulsory retirement at the age of 57, for a Colonel who failed to get promotion.
After their departure, their juniors who had been promoted to the rank of colonels, will then be made Brigadier Generals, because they are perceived to be NPP loyalists.
Shockingly, while depriving the seven colonels their promotion, one Col Emmanuel Baidoo Acheampong, who is 58 years old, a year older than them, was sent on a course in the US, and reports from the military circles is that, he would soon be made a Brigadier General to stay in service and impact what he learnt in the US.
Interestingly, although Col. Asem, went to a War College in Nigeria for a course, GAF, has not found that course useful to have him promoted to the rank of a Brigadier General, just like Col Emmanuel Baidoo Acheampong and make use of what he learnt.
This is happening at a time when some officers, have long gone above their mandatory retirement age to go home, but are being kept on contracts.
They include Brig Gen Amoah Ayisi, who is 60 years, has been giving extension, Brig Gen Moses Aryee, who is 61 years, was giving extension and Brig Gen Gyane, who will attain 60 years in December.
Among the officers mentioned to be moved from the rank of a Brigadier General to Major General, is Brig Gen JP Osei-Owusu, an ordnance officer without any known degree aside his sixth form certificate.
But he is billed to become Major General and sent to man a unit called TRADOC, although per the GAF regulations, he should have retired at the rank of a colonel. He is mentioned to be a good friend of Major General Oppong-Peprah.
Also on the list is one Brig-Gen RA Gyane of Base Workshop; a military mechanic shop. He is to be promoted to the rank of a Major General and posted to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) after the promotion, although he has never taught before.
Brigadier General Joseph Aphour, the General Officer Commanding of the Central Command and President Akufo Addo’s Aide de Camp, Brigadier General Bismark Onwona, were also mentioned as part of those to benefit from the promotion to the rank of Major Generals.
Concerns are that President Akufo-Addo, has given the Armed Forces to Major General Oppong-Peprah, otherwise creating Brigades is a different ball game.
To some of the insiders, if he wants to create brigades under a command, then he should be doing it under all commands.
Other reports are that, there are schemes in the Northern Command to promote one Brig-Gen Essien to 2-star, so that Major General Oppong-Peprah, will groom him for future appointments.
Many are wondering, if what is going on was part of the restructuring approved by the Armed Forces Council or these are to position officers in preparation for Election 2024
“It appears anytime the Army HQ lacks justification for a particular promotion or appointment of a loyalist, they go on a shopping spree trying to create brigades and units which are national, in order to promote some good for nothing officers”, one disappointed army officer remarked.
Source: The Herald.