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Opinions of Thursday, 14 January 2010

Columnist: Prah, Prince

Kokofu Promotions & Appointments In GAF!

2010 is here! As we brought the eventful 2009 to a close, many of us had hoped that this New Year would herald a difference in our political and social lives, and that we would not return to the humdrum of the life as we already know it.

But as I finally took my seat behind my desk and reviewed the news as they have occurred over the past couple of weeks, I could not fail but acknowledge that my hopes are going to be dashed. If anything, things are going to be worse than they used to be, in Ghana, African and the world.

The Military Secretary’s publication on the 23rd December 2009 taking effect from 22nd December 2009 was based mainly on political and ethnic considerations. The obvious political victimization was the case of Colonel K Oppong Otchere.

All the mates and immediate juniors of Colonel K Oppong Otchere who hold appointments that go with the rank of Brigadier General or equivalent have been promoted to the enviable rank of Brigadier General.

Worse of all, some of his juniors whose original appointments go with Colonels or equivalent have been elevated to the status of Brigadier Generals or equivalent purely on political grounds.

Colonel K Oppong Otchere whose current appointment is Deputy Commandant of Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) was promoted together with his mates as Lieutenant Colonel on 13th August 1996 and Colonel on 23rd August 2004. He was appointed as Deputy Commandant which goes with the rank of Brigadier General or equivalent on 12th May 2009 together with those of his mates who were appointed as Acting Director Generals during the NDC regime of President Mills.

Unfortunately for Col K Oppong Otchere because he is an Akim Chief and is perceived to be a loyalist of Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP he was not promoted as the others. Rather an attempt was made to send him to Chad to take a Colonel’s appointment instead of Brigadier General, which is a demotion. As luck was to smile on him, the UN took that appointment from Ghana.

Determined to push him out, the NDC regime has forced to get another appointment on UN peacekeeping operations for him. The intention of the NDC is to retire him compulsorily on age grounds on his return from the peacekeeping operations. What an injustice!!!

What a wicked victimization of an innocent officer who performed his duties creditably as Director Army Peacekeeping Operations until the NDC regime of Prez Mills!!!

The NDC will deny it just as they denied Brigadier General Oppong Kyekyeku’s retirement and yet the officer has begun his retirement process and is on terminal leave now.

The mates of Col K Oppong Otchere who have been promoted Brigadier General and their appointments are as follows: 1. Brigadier General F Iddrisu (GH/1760) –Director General Defence Intelligence- Northern Region

2. Brigadier General JK Klobodu (GH/1763)- Director General Plans and Development – Volta Region

3. Brigadier General SM Adams (GH/1782)- Military Secretary- Northern Region

4. Brigadier General R Opoku – Adusei –Assistant Commandant GAFCSC- Ashanti Region

5. Brigadier General B Musah (GH/1759) –Defence Adviser, London- Northern Region

6. Poor Colonel K Oppong Otchere (GH/1757)- Deputy Commandant KAIPTC

It is obvious from the list that apart from Brigadier General R Opoku – Adusei, the other officers are either from the Northern Regions or Volta Region. It is a known fact that Brigadier General R Opoku – Adusei was added to the list at the eleventh hour not because he was an Ashanti and they wanted to give it a regional balance but because he was married to an Ewe wife who died a few years ago and her children have to be catered for by the officer.

A similar treatment has been given to Brigadier General DK Frimpong who is also married to an Ewe. When the likes of Brigadier Generals Okyere, Debrah, Oppong- Kyekyeku and Nana Acheampong were being retired, Brigadier General DK Frimpong was given an appointment that had never existed in the Ghana Armed Forces as Special Military Assistant/ Aide to JH Smith, the Defence Minister.

The other juniors of Colonel K Oppong Otchere who have been promoted over and above him are the Airforce Station Commander of Tamale and Takoradi respectively: Air Commodore PK Ayisa (GH/1819) and Air Commodore IAR Abbas (GH/1825). These two officers were among the team that accompanied ex-President Rawlings to visit the Airforce Base Accra at dawn early 2009 and have been recognized for that and rewarded approximately.

The case of Brigadier General DK Mishio is the most serious and clearest case of politically manipulated promotions. Brigadier General DK Mishio was promoted Colonel on 31st March 2005, a year after Colonel K Oppong Otchere and the others and appointed Deputy Director General Joint Operations on 12th May 2009. It was evident that he was going to take over the appointment of Director General Joint Operations and be promoted Brigadier General once Lt Col Gbevlo Lartey was the National Security Coordinator.

It is their alliance from the Forces Reserve Battalion (FRB) and now 64 Infantry Regiment days that are being exploited to maximum benefits.

Colonel George Partington who was appointed Director General Joint Operations was very ill to be able to take the appointment and yet was promoted Brigadier General on 12th May 2009.

It was then Lieutenant Colonel George Partington who handed over to Lieutenant Colonel Mishio as CO 64 Infantry Regiment before he also handed over to then Major AK Gbevlo Lartey as the last Commanding Officer of 64 Infantry Regiment under ex- President Rawlings. So the alliance is obvious, clear, unshakeable, nostalgic and mutual and explains why a very ill Brigadier Partington has been posted to the National Security Secretariat.

Source: Prince Prah