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General News of Monday, 17 February 2020

Source: The Herald

Election year maneuvers in Ghana Armed Forces

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), has been hit by some election year manoeuvres spearheaded by the Presidency and it’s raising some eyebrows among the rank and file of the soldiers.

Among the manoeuvres is the promotion and posting of some senior officers into key positions, commands, units and departments in the Ghana Armed Forces.

A military document dated February 5, 2020 and signed by one Air Commodore MK Appiah-Agyekum, bearing titled Military Secretary asked that “Handing/Taking Over Certificates are to be forwarded to reach this Office within 14 days from date of assumption of duty”.

The document generated from Office of the Military Secretary, General Headquarters Ghana Armed Forces, Burma Camp titled “Postings/Promotions/Appointments- Officers” mentioned changes at the Army, Naval and Air Force headquarters of GAF as well as the 64 Infantry Regiment, 66 Artillery Regiment and 48 Engineers Regiment.

All the six battalions under the GAF and the 37 Military Hospital, have also recorded changes, promotions and appointment per the Military Secretary’s document.

But the latest is President Akufo-Addo’s appointment of Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, currently Chief of Staff at General Headquarters of the GAF, as the new Army Commander effective Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

A statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, announced that the appointments were in consultation with the Council of State.

Major General Oppong-Peprah, a former deputy to Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey at 64th Infantry Regiment and later commander of that unit, is replacing Major General William Ayamdo, as Chief of Army Staff.

The Herald’s insiders, revealed that Major General Oppong-Peprah, is on his way to replace Lt. General Obed Boamah Akwa, as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) should the New Patriotic Party (NPP) gets retained at the 2020 Presidential Election.

He is, however, facing accusations of nepotism with claims that he is an in-law to President Akufo-Addo through his marriage to a cousin of the President from Akropong.

Interestingly, the appointment of the former Commando boss, descried as very charismatic officer, comes days after the President astronomically increased the salaries of the officers and men in uniform to the surprise of many of them.

Insiders told The Herald that, the soldiers were neither informed about their new salaries nor given a pay slip, they only went to their respective banks to discover the salary increment ranging from GHC1000 to GHC1, 200.

This paper learnt that, the new pay slips reflecting the new salaries, are being processed and will be ready from next month, however, accounts have been credited.

Meanwhile, Major General Ayamdo, has been sent home by Akufo-Addo on the basis of completion of the tour of duty and subsequent retirement from the GAF.

Eugene Arhin’s statement further announced that on the recommendation of the Armed Forces Council, President Akufo-Addo, has also appointed Commodore Issah Adams Yakubu, as the new Chief of Staff at General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces to succeed Major General Oppong-Peprah, effective Wednesday, February 19, 2020.

Commodore Yakubu, is also promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on the same date.

Additionally, following the completion of the tour of duty and subsequent retirement from the GAF of Major General Omane Agyekum, the Commandant of the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS), the President has, on the recommendation of the Armed Forces Council, appointed Brigadier General C.K. Awity as the new Commandant of MATS, effective Wednesday, February 19, 2020.

He is also promoted to the rank of Major General on the same date. The statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, announcing the appointments said President Akufo-Addo, expressed his gratitude to Generals Ayamdo and Omane Agyekum for their dedicated and meritorious services to the GAF and to the nation.

But The Herald is informed about many more changes within the military, including the replacement of Provost Marshall; Military Police Lt. Col. Bannerman with Lt. Col Addy, while the 64th Commander, Lt. Col Fiifi Dogbe with Lt. Col Owusu, who was the Commander of the Military Jungle Warfare Training School at Achiase in the Eastern Region.

Lt. Col Dogbe, has since been posted to Army Combat School as Directing Staff what is popularly called an Instructor.

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