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General News of Friday, 9 August 2013

Source: Office of former President Rawlings

Rawlings pays respects to former National Security Chief

Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has paid his respects to former National Security Chief, Benjamin Kofi Amoah Forjoe who passed away on July 16 at the age of 92.

President Rawlings, who called on the family of the departed security boss to commiserate with them on Monday, was grateful for the role Ben Forjoe played in strengthening Ghana’s security structures.

The former President wrote in a book of condolence opened in Mr. Forjoe’s memory, that: “No words will be enough to thank him for his strength and the assurance that his presence provided.”

Popularly known as Uncle Ben, the late Benjamin Forjoe was a former Director of the Special Branch (Bureau of National Investigations), former National Security Coordinator and a Special Coordinator at the Office of the President.

For his meritorious service to Ghana he was recognized and honoured with the highest award of the Land, the Companion of the Star of Ghana by President Rawlings in 1997.

A former police officer and an Israeli trained counter intelligence officer, Benjamin Forjoe was appointed as the Deputy Director of the Research Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1961. He was promoted to the position of first Ghanaian Director of the Bureau in 1962.

In 1963 he was posted to the then Special Branch that is now known as the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) as the Acting Director and ranking member of the National Security Council. He was confirmed in this position in 1964.

Uncle Ben remained at the Special Branch until November 1965 before being transferred to head the Passport Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1973 he was appointed Ghana’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republics of Togo and Benin. He was there till late 1978 when he returned to Ghana to assume the position of Senior Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During the June 4th 1979 revolution, he was appointed the Commissioner of the Interior.

After the AFRC handover he joined (Dorman Long) DL Steel then one of the major players in the steel fabrication industry as the Managing Director.

He was recalled to public service in January 1983 and was appointed Special Coordinator at the office of the Chairman of the PNDC. In 1992, upon the return of Ghana to constitutional governance, he became the Special Coordinator at the Office of the President, a position that he held until his retirement in 1996.