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Feature Article of Friday, 26 March 2010

Columnist: Prah, Prince

Discrimination and Victimization In the Military!

Information gathered by this blog through concerned soldiers indicates that there is a deliberate discrimination in the selection of personnel for external and internal operations in the Ghana Armed Forces under the NDC administration of Associate Prof. Atta Mills.

The selection of personnel for peacekeeping operations as Military Observers is highly controlled by the master strategists to ensure that officers from the Volta Region and sympathizers of the NDC are sent to countries where the UN Allowances are very high such as Darfur in Sudan and Congo. Conversely, Akans and other officers perceived to be NPP sympathizers are sent to less lucrative missions such as Western Sahara and Lebanon.

In the case of the Other Ranks who are selected for the VIP Escort duties in Ivory Coast, the policy under the NPP Administration was to give the vacancies to the Commands, Units, Formations and Service Headquarters for them to select qualified personnel as per the laid down criteria and procedures.

The situation has changed under NDC Administration. The selection of the Other Ranks from all the three Services, the Formations and Units is done centrally by the “Powers that be” and imposed on the authorities concerned. The objective of the centralization and discrimination is to ensure that NDC sympathizers are rewarded handsomely.

While their counterparts on the main Ghana Battalion (UNOCI) will be receiving thirty US Dollars ($30) per day, their counterparts on the VIP duties collect close One Hundred Dollars ($100) in the aggregate adding local allowance per day.

The policy of discrimination is to empower NDC sympathizers financially. While the officers and men of NDC affiliation are sent to the more lucrative UN operations their counterparts and colleagues perceived to be NPP sympathizers are offered the less lucrative but dangerous missions. The cumulative effect is to make the NDC officers and men richer while their so called NPP sympathizers are denied that opportunity.

This policy of discrimination fits perfectly well into the policy of empowering friendly forces as spelt out by Jerry Rawlings during his infamous call to see to the collapse of businesses of Mr. Appiah Menka and Kwabena Darko. Then President Rawlings emphasized that it would be suicidal to either empower your political opponents or create a congenial atmosphere for them to undertake their legitimate business to become rich.

It is the same philosophy and policy that are being conceptualized and implemented as far as military external operations are concerned under the NDC Administration.

If the case of the external peacekeeping operations is bizarre then that of the internal operations is dangerous and precariously pregnant with lowering of morale. Selection for the prestigious operations such as Operation Citadel is now limited to soldiers from the Volta Region, Northern extraction and more importantly of the NDC persuasion. While under the NPP Administration, selection of soldiers for duties at the seat of government, Castle was given to the Battalions and Regiment in a Command without interference, the situation has changed under the NDC Administration.

The names of soldiers are submitted by their units in advance to the Defence Intelligence and National Security Coordinator’s office for vetting. So far, on three occasions that the names of solders from the Volta Region and three Northern Regions. Even in the case of the three Northern Regions, soldiers from the Northern Region and Upper West Region are preferred to those from the Upper East Region.

The master strategists in the NDC Administration and their counterparts in the military want to ensure that only soldiers that they are 100% sure of their loyalty and can vouch for their character are selected to perform duties at the castle.

Owing to the deliberate policy of the Military High Command under the direction of General Seth Obeng to integrate all sections of the Ghana Armed Forces into a cohesive family, even known notorious ex-64 Infantry Regiment soldiers in Units were allowed to perform duties at the Castle.

This matured Esprit de Corps approach of selecting troops for duties at the Castle is diametrically opposite to the discriminatory and pro-NDC minded selective process. What observers and concerned soldiers are saying is that the N D C Administration should extend the discriminatory selection process for Operation Citadel to Operation Calm Life (Anti-Armed Robbery Joint Military and Police Patrols).

The Military High Command should equally ensure that only pro-NDC soldiers are selected for the anti-armed robbery operations since their master Jerry Rawlings says that the armed robbers are NPP activists or NPP hired criminals. Another phase of discrimination in the military is taking place at the Department of Defence Intelligence.

The Department is gradually and systematically being purged of perceived NPP sympathizers. While the perceived NPP sympathizers are being victimized and or posted away, NDC sympathizers are being posted into the Department to strengthen it for the treachery, witch hunting and persecution of perceived NPP sympathizers and enemies of the “Revolution”.

This trend is in sharp contrast to what happened during the entire 8 year period of the NPP administration. Not one single officer or man was posted out of the Department of Defence Intelligence except on disciplinary grounds.

The same officers and men were allowed to do their jobs with a few additions made after interviews had been organized. Thus, all personnel at the Department during the exit of Jerry Rawlings remained there until 2009. That may explain why an Air Force officer who without authority and authorization procured a visa for another officer, who had been charged with a service offence, tried, found guilty, convicted and given a term of imprisonment, to abscond with impunity. There was evidence of the letter of introduction to the Embassy signed by the Air Force officer, his personal involvement in collecting the visa under official protocol auspices for the fugitive officer.

When it was recommended that this Air Force officer should be posted out of the unit, because he is an Ewe, he played the ethnic card and has remained at the Department of Defence Intelligence ever since. Now this officer is terrorizing poor innocent personnel of the Department are perceived as NPP sympathizers because they were posted to the Department during the NPP Administration.

What personnel of the Department of Defence Intelligence and their collaborators at the office of the National Security Coordinator are doing is falsely tagging officers and men as “NPP” and victimizing them while creating and enhancing opportunities for the “NDC” friends to go on courses, operations and diplomatic duties.

The era of fear, curtailed freedom of speech, trailing of officers and men has crept into the military once again as during the PNDC era of 1982 to 1992 and the NDC Administration of 1993 to 2001.

All the gains chalked under General Seth Obeng to revive and enhance mess life have been eroded and attracted negative patronage.

Source: prahprince-prince.blogspot.com Email: pkwesi72@yahoo.com

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