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Opinions of Sunday, 26 September 2021

Columnist: Major Mohammed Bogobiri (Rtd)

My perspective on what is a coup, why a coup, when coup is a coup & how to prevent it

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The recent Coup in Guinea has brought about a national dialogue on Coups. Hence my take on the subject especially to ascertain or confirm whether a Coup can happen or may continue to be in developing Countries including my dear Ghana. To do so I will look at some of the coups that occurred in Ghana and the recent coup in Guinea for the underlying motivation for staging Coups in developing countries.

Hence, the study will cover the Coups in Ghana by Lieutenant Samuel Arthur and others in 1967, the 13 January 1972 Coup by General Acheampong, the 1981 Coup that overthrew the PNP Administration of Dr Liman, the alleged planned to overthrow President Nana Addo (as reported on 23 September 2019), the Wednesday 24 March 2021 attempted Coup in Niger to prevent the inauguration of President-elect Mohammed Bazoum on Friday 26 March 2021 (that is 3 days to the swearing-in as the newly elected President of Niger) and lastly the recent Coup in Guinea.

A critical analysis would reveal that the above mentioned coup events were not staged or planned to be staged by the affected key plotters, due to the normal allegations of dictatorial regimes, the state of economic crisis and manipulation of the Constitution as in the case of Guinean by Ex-President Alpha Conde for extended Presidency which some people and not the Coup plotters proclaimed.

Intelligence rather revealed that the above mentioned Coup events were due to either for the personnel interest or ego/ambition or the grievances of the Coup plotters or the grievances related to the Military organization, that is the Corporate Interest of the Armed Forces or its subunit and not exactly for the National Interest. Before I dilate on the subject with illustrations, I wish to first talk of a maxim by Historians and Risk Experts to be supported with quotes from the Holy Bible and a Philosophy by Anthony Robbins and come out with simple and a classical definition of a Coup to drive my point home.

Historians normally say that History repeats itself and Risk Experts do say that once an occurrence has happened it may happen again. These maxims are supported by Ecclesiastes 1:9 which says ‘what has happened before will happen again’’. The Philosophy by Anthony Robbins is quoted as follows ‘’People who succeed have a momentum. The more they succeed the more they want to succeed and the more they find a way to Succeed’’. That is to say Military Officers or personnel in developing Countries have gained the momentum or appetite for staging coups for their personal interest or that of their paymasters.

Hence, Coups in developing Nations including Ghana may happen again due to the drive to enhance one’s personal or tribal ego or pride, greed for wealth, an appetite for power, to deal with grievances or malcontents issues, simply the personal (self) interest (man is greedy and greed breeds greed) or and the ambitions of some Military Officers.

Personal ego actually plays an important factor. Pardon me to say that the craving by His Excellency ex-President Mahama (JDM) to become President of Ghana again is not to loot (hmm the future is not for us to see) but to salvage his personal ego, otherwise JDM should have given up the chance especially for the 2020 Presidential election on the ticket of the NDC to other very appealing personalities like Dr Kwabena Duffour from the Ashanti Region for him to have won more votes from the Region he comes from or reduce the votes of the NPP nationwide. His attempt to bid again for 2024 Presidential Election to boost his ego (is a potential national security threat if he is defeated again, since the same candidate with different political background in Ghana and even in the World (started as assembly man, Member of Parliament, Vice President and ended as Ex-President) and the NDC Party will not accept defeat I repeat will not accept defeat for three consecutive times, folks do critical thinking). JDM should have wise up in 2020 like his good friend the highly smart and magnificent Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan with the same appealing personality and almost the same political office history suddenly in the good books of President Buhari who defeated him in the 2015 Nigeria Presidential Election. Who is being used by President Buhari for peace missions and now being courted by the Party of President Buhari for him Goodluck to cross carpet to APC the party President Buhari and may be nominated as the APC’s Presidential Candidate to succeed President Buhari on the ticket of the APC Party and not the PDP Party from which he Goodluck originated from and rose to fame. From my estimation, if JDM gets the chance first by his Party Electoral Delegates as their Presidential candidate and the National electorates as our President again, he may perform very well for Ghana, so good luck to him and my country Ghana. But if the NPP manages the COVID-19 pandemic very well and render just a little improvement of the Economy then by Ecclesiastes 1:9, JDM may be humiliated again by a third defeat in the 2024 Presidential Election. I rest my case.

A Coup is merely a rebellion (discontent or malcontent) action by person or persons termed a rebel or rebels against a superior or authority (State, organization or system including the authority of the Constitution. Hence, it must be noted that a mere jettisoning or disregard or malcontent of Constitutional provisions especially to gain power is a Coup. This is the main reason for the proponents of a Constitution especially, the 1992 Constitution of Ghana stipulating that at all times the 1992 Constitution must be supported, upheld, preserved, defended and protected by all especially the Security Agencies, sitting Heads of State and former Presidents/ former Heads of State of Ghana especially those of the Fourth Republic. Hence, Serving Security personnel especially Police and the Military must not say something in Public (including academic forum) against the provisions of a working Constitution. They may cunningly do so at a forum if and only if it is duly constituted by the State for their expertise for promulgation of a new Constitution or amendment of a Constitution.

Amendment of a Constitutional provision to stay in power if and only if provided in the Constitution can never be or be related to a Coup, because it is not an act of rebellion or disregard to the provision of the Constitution but a window for an enactment of the Constitutional provision for obvious reasons or reasons best known to the proponents of the Constitution. That is to say use of the opportune or window provided to amend the Constitution is not a coup. Rigging the election or referendum connected with the appropriate Constitutional provision would be problematic hence a coup. Likewise failing to handover to a newly elected Presidential candidate is a Coup. If ex-President Donald Trump had maneuvered and stayed in power, then that act will be regarded as a Coup. His Excellency President Vladimir Putin of Russia, was a Prime Minister of Russia for the limited tenure of Office for a Prime Minister of Russia as provided by the Constitution, but to satisfy his ego/ambition to be in political power for a longer period, he caused the amendment of the Russian Constitution to pave way for him to be elected as President of Russia up to 2036.

His Excellency JDM’s declaration that he will not go to the Supreme Court if he happens to lose in the next Presidential Election (the 2024 Presidential election), is technically or legally amounted to a predetermined or prearranged Coup (malcontent or disregard action) against the 1992 Constitution particularly the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Ghana. One may therefore be right to cunningly regard it as JDM’s Second Coup D’état after his ‘My First Coup D’état which memoirs his life in Ghana, from birth to the time he was Vice President of Ghana. You do not need the involvement of weapons in a plan event (incident) nor the competency of a Professor in law in order to determine a Coup but common sense logic will tell that failure to support, uphold, preserve, defend and protect the Constitution, hence an act to throw away the provision of the Constitution is a Coup.

A further explanation of the term Coup, it should be noted during the last era of ex-President Trump of USA, the then Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of USA, namely General Mark Miley, feared that his boss, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of USA, then President Donald Trump and his allies might attempt a coup by just a refusal to hand over or take other rebel or illegal measures against the Constitution of the USA. This was after the November 2020 election which Donald Trump took time in order to strengthen his claim that he won the Presidential election before he finally accepted defeat. Report had it that some USA Middle Level Military Officers of the ranks of Colonels recommended to General Mark Miley, then Chairman of the Joint Chief Staff of the Armed Forces of USA, to use minimum force to get Trump and his supporters to handover to the then Candidate Joe Biden. Assuming that Trump had placed his personal interest against the will of the people as proclaimed in the November 2020 Election and stayed in power beyond his tenure, an act by the General to overthrow him or assuming that General overthrew Trump, then his action will tantamount to supporting, upholding, preserving, defending and protecting the Constitution of the USA.

Hence, during the commissioning of Military Officer Cadets into the Military Officers Corp of USA by the President of the USA, the Military personnel are made to swear their allegiance to the Constitution of USA and obey the lawful Orders of the President of the USA. Regardless of Political Affiliation, Military personnel in USA normally swear to the Constitution. That makes the Military personnel in USA more professional than those in developing countries, reason why Military in USA has not staged a Coup as at date.

Hence the Oath of Allegiance by Military Officers in Africa especially in Ghana, need to be looked into and when a new Constitution is promulgated, serving personnel especially Military Officers who were commissioned before the promulgation of the Constitution must be made to solemnly swear to the Constitution. They must swear to support, preserve, uphold, defend and uphold the Constitution. I was commissioned during the PNDC era that was before the 1992 Constitution was enforced and I was made to swear my Allegiance to obey the orders of the Chairman of the PNDC and the ORDERS of my Superiors. My oath of Allegiance was not revised.

The National Security of Ghana (the Intelligence outfit) in 2019, caused the arrest of some military personnel, a Police Officer and civilians claimed to be members of ‘Take Action Ghana’ for an alleged plan to stage a Coup against the regime of His Excellency President Nana Addo. On grounds of destabilization of the State. So if true then I can comfortable say that the Fourth Republic of Ghana experienced an attempted Coup or experienced a coup (a malcontent action against the system and preparing to use non-Constitutional provision or illegal ways to seek redress on a Constitutional matter).

Also the mere demand by some novice members of the pressure group named as Fix Ghana that the 1992 Constitution should be thrown away and not amended as provided by the Constitution is also a Coup against the 1992 Constitution or the Fourth Republic which the 1992 Constitution gave us. So the members of the Fix Ghana who seemed to have very good intention to ensure the government lives up to expectation must watch it otherwise they may be suspects or respondents for legal prosecution.

Hence by the above explanations, a Coup neither requires the popular support from the Citizens like the 2013 Coup in Egypt which was stimulated by popular protest by the people of Egypt against the Islamization of Egypt and the authoritarian Presidency of ex-President Mohammed Morsi and his Moslem Brotherhoods which motivated General Fatal Sisi and the Egyptian Army to overthrow the one year old Presidency of ex-President Mohammed Morsi. Nor does it requires a condemnation before it will be regarded or legitimized as a Coup. The 2013 Egyptian coup was silently accepted by USA, then under the Presidency of ex-President Obama and the then Secretary General of the UN. It remains in the history of Egypt as a Coup though they USA and UN did not condemn it, because it involved the overthrow of a Constitutional Order and or government.

So, I wish now to illustrate that Coups will continue to be part of developing Countries because most coup plotters have cover up motives or their own agenda (personal or corporate interest) but cunningly exploit the allegation of mismanagement or maladministration or economic crisis, popular protestations etc these problems may be with us till the end of the World. The use of these problems coupled with the personal interest or grievances of individual or some Military Officers or the grievances of the Military Organization or Corporate interest, or the urge for the enhancement of the egos of some military Officers and Civilians will make plotters to exploit these opportune of alleged mismanagement to their advantage (for their personal interest) and not to the interest of the Nation. Hence motivation and Opportune are the principal or lucrative targets for a coup plotter.

The Military is noted for its well established organization with esprit de corps, better than other state institutions in a Country and this is coupled with sophisticated weapons to strike. It has a Unitary or unit of Command structure or Chain of Command coupled with strong obedience of Orders of the Superior Officer by all subordinates hence the teeth to bite. So the Military has the term, teething arms to represent the Infantry, Armour, Artillery etc with supporting Naval fire from the Navy and Air fire support from the Air forces as and when required for operations. This therefore make the Military as the best organized and strongest state institution. These and other factors especially training, ability to assemble within a split second in time and move in stealth with speed gives the Military the capacity to stage a coup

Organization decides everything, so the Military Organization with teeth to bite has thus rendered the military in developing Nations to have the audacity to constitute itself into a secret or perceived or seemingly Ombudsman over the political landscape to displace a regime with the excuse that, it failed to meet the aspiration of the people.

The 1967 coup which was staged by some young Military Officers, Lieutenant Arthur and others with personnel from the then Mortar Regiment Ho and other elements against the National Liberation Council which overthrew the CCP Regime of Dr Kwame Nkrumah was staged neither to correct a national wrong especially mismanagement act nor restore the CPP Administration of Dr Kwame Nkrumah. But it was merely for the Political Leadership ambition or and the enhancement of the egos (foolish bravado) of the young Officers. It was partly successful but short lived because the good or critical thinking of Lieutenant Arthur was consumed by his bid to feed the ego of his girlfriend and lack of the involvement of Officers from Major to Colonels or even a seasoned Army Captain in the plan.

The 13 January Coup by the then Colonel Kutu Acheampong was merely due to the need to personal interest and preserve the Corporate Interest of the Ghana Armed Forces. Acheampong actually started planning the Coup in the early parts of 1970 for him to enhance his ego. But his plan received wide support from the rank and file of the Military as result of the austere budget measures involving the tightening your belt policy executed by the then Dr Busia regime which led to the cutting of the defence budget by 10% . This affected the amenities of the personnel of the Military and therefore dampened the morale of the soldiers. Hence this gave the motivation for Acheampong to stage the Coup that overthrew Dr Busia’s Regime. Hence, this Coup was known as the few amenities Coup.

The 31 December 1981 Coup by Papa JJ was partly if not wholly due to the retirement of some Military Officers (Flt JJ Rawlings, General Arnold Quianoo and others) by President Liman. Likewise the personal aggrandizement of the plotters with other contributing factors, included the alleged activities of the Military Intelligence etc especially the trailing of Papa J and others.

It should be noted that immediately on taking over, the PNP Administration of the Dr Liman launched two years of rehabilitation and redirection program from 25 September 1979 to 24 September 1981, this followed by almost the footsteps (template) of the economic improvement path launched by Dr Busia due to the courting of the support of the World Bank and IMF. So by 1980 the GDP rose from negative 7.8% to plus 2.5%. Hence the gloomy or the downturn economy in 1979 saw or it was seeing an upturn (revival). Using personnel ego/interest issues especially the retirement of some Military Officers including Papa J and General Arnold Quianoo and the alleged trailing of their movements by the military Intelligence and with the support of some of Dr Liman’s Northern Brothers for reasons best known to themselves, Papa J was part of the 31 December 1981 coup.

As a cover up, the PNDC made the people to think that the Coup was staged to remove the PNP administration for among others, economic malaise. Unfortunately, the economy of Ghana suffered downturn under the PNDC, for instance inflation was almost 126 percent and GDP was minus 7% by 1983. This Forced the PNDC to change its socialist rhetoric or ideology to almost the Capitalist ideology of Dr Busia which was almost adopted by Dr Liman. That is by also courting the support of the World Bank and the IMF with their usual template of among others the devaluation of the local currency, retrenchment etc.

Effective 1986, the PNDC launched Structural Adjustment Programme resulting in retrenchment of workers, increase in unemployment which led to an Economic Reform Program including the Mining Sector Reforms with the passage of Minerals and Mining Act 1986 (PNDC153) to attract foreign direct Investment. Peacekeeping Operations Daily Allowances of Troops on UN Mission in Lebanon was reduced from $10 to $3.00 per day to help boost the economy.

The reformation of the mining sector saw the official recognition of artisanal mining locally known as Galamsey by the inclusion of a section 77 of the Act 1986 (PNDCL153) that saw an attempt through Legalization and Formalization of Galamsey to transform it to a Small Scale Mining. Hence Section 77 was then known as the Galamsey Law. This led to the enactment of the Small Scale Gold Mining Law 1989 (PNDCL215) and the Precious Minerals Marketing Law 1989(PNDCL218) by the PNDC to buy gold from the Galamsey operators.

These measures led to the improvement of the economic for instance GDP attained 5.6% growth and Inflation dropped drastically to 25% by September 1989. But, by the time the PNDC transformed itself to the NDC in 1992, corruption was higher than the situation in both the previous Civilian Regimes of the Second and Third Republics or Constitutional Regimes. This was the same situation that saw coup plotter namely General Abacha of Nigeria to loot over 5 Billion Dollars in Nigeria. Hence the notion that the Military comes in to change regimes due to National Interest is not totally true but it is for the hidden personnel ego (or Malcontent, to gain wealth by the Plotters and with the gesture of protecting the Corporate Interest of the Military in mind, rebel soldiers were motivated to use the opportune of economic malaise or extension of Political Power etc to stage a Coup.

A study of the situation at the time Major Courage Quasigah was arrested in September1989 for attempted coup speaks volume that coups were staged due to personal interest. The above assertion talked of an improvement of the economy in 1989. It should be noted that Major Courage Quasigah was a very loyal officer to the PNDC regime, he and the then Chairman were from the Volta Region. No matter of serious national concern then. Hence nothing was done to him like what was done to my friends Djan (mate in UST) and Lt Peter Achana (mate at Navasco). This gives a clear indication that personal interest (Selfish interest ) or may be the Corporate Interest of the Military was the principal or the deciding factor Suffice it to say that Major Courage Quasigah attempted Coup did not have the opportune that would have made his Coup if it was successful to receive popular support even from the Army. Hence, the alleged attempted or planned Coup by Major Courage Quasigah in September 1989 was due to need to enhance his ego or Malcontent or personal interest because as stated the economy saw a gradual upturn.

So I can comfortable say some of the Coups were and will be due to personal ego/ Malcontent (grievances of Some Officers without solution which turned them into rebel soldiers as my personnel experience as stated below will show.

Some of the grievances against the Military Administration in 1989, therefore the PNDC included restructuring in general, cancellation of few amenities and on issues of delay or no promotion/appointments.

The Military has a convention or tradition especially on the tenure of Offices for Commanding Officers of a Unit especially for Infantry Unit, that is not more than 3 years and that of the CDS and Service Commanders not more than 4 years. Hence the appointment of the CDS, Service Commanders and the IGP is conterminous with that of the President for this and other technical reasons. The failure to adopt or to adhere to this convention by the PNDC and other matters affected the Corporate Interest of the Military and caused serious morale problem especially within the Officers Corps. It caused grumbling in the Army.

When the PNDC overthrew the PNP Administration, the late Papa JJ reinstated himself into the Air Force or the Military and held the appointment of the CDS from November 1982 to August 1983, before handing over to General Arnold Quianoo another fellow malcontent Military Officer like the late Papa JJ against the Linman’s Administration due to their retirement from the Military by the Linman’s Administration.

But due to the success of the 31 December Coup by fellow retired malcontent Military Officers including the leader of the PNDC ( Papa J), General Arnold Quianoo was recalled from retirement and he mistakenly held both the appointments of the CDS/GOC and Army Commander (we used to mock at the way he occupied these two prestigious appointments) for more than 4 years in the history of the Army and Armed Forces thus it created a serious generation gap problem due to stagnant promotions and appointments of some Military Officers’ intake mates or groups from the rank of Major and above from attaining the prestigious ranks of Colonel above and Command appointments. This therefore affected the morale of the Army Officers who felt that they could not rise up again (the song Concrete Jungle by Reggae maestro, the late Bob Marley, our Light has turned into Darkness was endorsed by the Officers).

Another disturbing issue was when he later handed over the post of Army Commander to Major General Mensah Wood and both the CDS and the Army Commander were made members of the PNDC and became part of the members of the kitchen cabinet of JJ Rawlings and they failed to work for the Corporate Interest of the Military. For instance, due to his membership of the PNDC and in bid to reduce or manage cost, he refused to sign a mail for adjustment of the pay of personnel of the Armed Forces and this remained on the disk of Major General Mensah Wood (then CDS or Army Commander) till he died. It is interesting to note that the wife of the late Major General Mensah Wood wept when she went to the Defence Pay Office for the entitlement due to the late husband, it was just a peanut, so she refused to take it.

But the then IGP and then Commanders of other Security Agencies, who were not members of the PNDC could easily get things through in the PNDC’s era. Infact when General Akafia took over as Army Commander due to the death of General Mensah Wood and he was not made a member of the PNDC, he quickly signed the said mail. So, the membership of both the CDS and the Army Commander as members of the Kitchen cabinet of the PNDC really affected the Corporate Interest of the Military and thus turned some of us into somehow rebel soldiers as narrated below with my personnel experience. Infact the Corporate interest of the Ghana Armed Forces was very bad or mal.

My enrolment into the Military Academy, the training therein and life in the Army was a mystery, I still cannot understand how I managed to sail on (The song Sail on by the Commodores by Leonel Richie referred) to the rank of Major, before resigning from the Army. My interest to join the Ghana Army was for a special purpose to be revealed in my book.

I had the telegram for the interview for the enlistment very late, so I went to the then Director General of PA from my hometown to see if I could be given a new date for the interview but he told me that it was not possible due to the watchdog (monitoring) activity of a dreadful Armed Forces Defence Committee (Peoples Defence Committee). So I left his Office malcontent or depressed and suddenly bumped into a beautiful female common typist of the Personnel Administration. On hearing my name (Bogobiri, the beginning of Man Bogo), this ordinary female typist out of excitement and looking at my youthfulness added my name for the Regular intake Cadet Corp instead of the Short Service intake which I opted for. Her action was authenticated by then Col Ankrah then Deputy DG of PA.

It was shocking and a mystery to me that a common civilian female typist at the office of my own brother, the then Director General of Personnel Administration (PA) Department had the audacity to direct or order me to join training at the Ghana Military Academy. There was a sudden changed of a malcontent into Happiness. I could not believe it, still I cannot believe it, how the Almighty God worked for me. Hence my second daughter was named Awewura Bogobiri. Awewura means my God is there in Kassim or Grunshie.

I later learnt that the Defence PA under my own brother, failed to advertise for the enlistment (recruitment) of an Agric degree holder (graduate) into the Ghana Army as requested by Army HQ (created an issue between Col Agbeve then with Army HQ and Col Ankrah of Defence PA. The Ghana Armed Forces Farms did not have a graduate with Agriculture background Farms since it was established by General Acheampong in 1977. Hence the female typist and the Chief Clerk conducted a search or scrutiny and detected an applicant by name a Bogobiri with BSc Hons Agric from then UST (now KNUST), was one of the applicants for the Interview. So when I told her I am Bogobiri, she danced and shouted I have found Man Bogo, so the typist penned me down at once for Military Officer training.

The Military training was not easy always carrying very heavy logs both day and night for being a rebel (nonconformist or odd one out at the Academy) due to among others my ability to escape to town especially smuggled out of the Military Academy in the night by some Teshie girls whenever they come to the Academy to fetch water. I planned to escape due to the hard training and very hot meals we were required to take within 10minutes and the best you could do was to hide and put the very hot yam into your pocket with painful burns which the senior cadets would wait for it to cool down and removed it.

Hence, the Teshie girls made me to sail on. But due to hard training and sleepless night and the only place I could get time to sleep was on the Drill Square during training. So I still became malcontent or fed up so I planned with one Air force Cadet by name Allotey (my fellow graduate from the then UST who was a Mechanical Engineer) to escape. But my Teshie Girls refused to accept my items which I was to escape with and pushed me back into the Academy. Still the training was not easy (It was not easy by Lucky Dube). I could not understand why Allotey and I will be made to carry heavy logs on our shoulders with a beautiful female nurse, a medical cadet made to sit on it and we were made to run with her on it through Teshie Town with women wailing in sympathy for us. So one day Allotey and I took a final decision to escape from the Military Academy in the night of one Friday (D-day).

Fortunately or unfortunately, a mystery happened again in my life. On the D-Day for our escape in the night, we were on the Drill Square for weapon drill training when the then RSM, Ranger WOI Baba came furiously and knocked our heads without any cause and marched us out to appear before the Interview of the Commanding Officer of the Military Academy, then Papa Brown (then Colonel Brown). We thought he heard of our secret plan to escape therefore imprisonment awaiting for us.

He looked at me with bad eyes and asked me how I entered into the Regular cadet intake, I could not answer, so I received some knocks from the RSM for keeping quite. But the blessing of the Almighty God shone on us. He finally ordered that we should be converted from Regular intake Cadet to Short Service intake to be commissioned in six months’ time instead of in 18 months for Regular intake cadets. So we joined the Short Services intake with the Medical Nurses and Doctors. We later got to know, that Papa J gave a directive to the Military Academy through the GOC to accept two Cadets sent from the then Captain Thomas Sankrah, then Head of State for Burkina Faso for training in Ghana.

On passing out from the Academy, instead of sending me to the Ghana Armed Farms, I was posted to the Field Engineers Regiment Teshie and to the dreaded Assault Pioneer Squadron of the Unit then under Major Emmanuel Okyere (now Brigadier General Okyere, the current National Security Adviser) with Major Adu-Amanfoh (now Major General Adu-Amanfoh, the current National Security Coordinator), was Second-in-Command of Field Engineers Regiment Teshie and resided at the then 2 Brigade Officers Mess became close to the late WOI Tetteh, the then ADC of Papa J who was staying at Teshie Camp at an area enroute to Field Engineers. We the young Officers were given free meals at the Mess at the Teshie Camp.

I was then receiving less than C8,400 equivalent of GHC84.00 per month when all of a sudden, the PNDC or the Military (Buffalo Soldier) as part of the austere measures cancelled meals for Officers at the Mess without any financial support. It dampened our morale (for loss of the few amenities). Hence secret rebels (malcontent) soldiers in the making who could easily join Coup plotters. To survive (Survival and Concrete Jungle by Bob Marley were our songs), we had to rush to the Defence Pay Office for soft loans, and hence we the newly commissioned Officers or some of the affected Officers were forced to leave in a perpetual loan scheme. Our woes were further worsened with the introduction of the banking system for salary payments instead of the two weeks old fashion pay on the table mode.

After my Regimental Training at the Field Engineers Regiment Teshie, I reported with other newly Officers to the Ghana Border Guard HQ (now CEPs) for posting to the Border Guard Units. But on the exact day in 1988, we reported to check the list for the postings, the PNDC through the Buffalo Soldier made Brigadier General Seidu Ayomah to announce on Air of the disbandment of the Border Guards with no indication of our new Mother Units. A serous morale problem. Concrete Jungle by the reggae maestro Bob Marley was our song again because Darkness has covered our Light, our morale was dampened seriously.

Later on, some of the affected personnel including myself were selected for the United Nation Peacekeeping Operations in Lebanon. To help improve on the National Economy, the PNDC through the Buffalo Soldier reduced the UN Peacekeeping Allowance from $10.00 to $3.00. When the ‘’Buffalo Soldier’’ heard of the malcontent or the low morale of the troops, he held durbar with we the personnel of the affected Battalion for the Peacekeeping operation and demanded that anyone who was not ready to go to Lebanon should come forward. So we were hardened and went to Lebanon with the motto ‘No Retreat No Surrender’ pardon me with the same slogan of Do and die by JDM or one time Candidate Nana Addo’s All Die be Die philosophy. Ready for anything hence potential recruits for a Coup plotter.

In Lebanon I was posted to a Check point 8-22 (a hot spot) as the Platoon Commander. A very young Officer with exuberance but with aggressive posture (with no nonsense approach that is a graduated rebel soldier (Zombie with the do and die notion). Armed Lebanese elements including Lebanese girls these included suicide bombers normally want to go through this Checkpoint so we had to hold it firm. But you cannot talk or look at the girls they too cannot do same but you can only search their cars but not their bodies. The search create the opportune for talking to the Lebanese girls. They also used this opportune to come close or meet and invite us to their Shops, where you can spend the whole day time to interact with a Lebanese girl or woman.

To boost the morale of my troops of course my morale, I always spent time with my personnel at the Check point (8-22). So in one night, all of sudden we heard the approach of Armour Tanks from the area of Finbatt. Ghana Army hardened us and made us fearless. Our motto remained ‘No Retreat No Surrender’ but we were only armed with the G3 Assault Rifles. So I ordered my troops to stand fast and firm and keep the Check Point blocked and not to allow passage until Authorization is granted by any Superior Ghanaian Military Officer. The battery of our radios were all down (dead). So we held (stopped) them for some time before our OC came and ordered us to grant passage to our overall or the most Superior UN Military Officer in Lebanon that was the Force Commander of UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFL). Lieutenant General Hagland from Finland who was returning in the night around 8pm from the HQ of Finbatt, the Battalion from Finland. I was immediately posted to 8-45 Juwayya (Siberia) where you had to be content with drinking coffee etc and play ludo or game with the guards.

On return from Lebanon, I was posted to the Ghana Armed Forces Farms (GAFF). I later became the Commanding Officer of GAFF. One day, I was invited with other Commanding Officers to attend a meeting with the CDS/GOC, General Arnold Quianoo (the Buffalo Soldier). At the meeting, he sacked Commanding Officers below the rank of Major, I was then a very young Captain. Thus once again he dampened my ego or morale. An ambition must be countered by an Ambition. So I planned that if he is a Buffalo Soldier, I will show him that I am also a rebel soldier. So as the Commanding Officer of GAFF, which had a separate or independent subvention (budget) straight from the Ministry of Finance, I had free access to the then Minister of Defence (Hon Iddirusu Mahama) and even the GOC and the Army Commander.

I heard the GOC (the Buffalo Soldier) was to travel to Yugoslavia or so. So I went to the then Minister of Defence and told him that I cannot guarantee the lives of about 10,000 poultry birds or so with GAFF due to low feed etc because Afariwaa Farms (the late Lady Afariwaa) was not ready to supply further feed etc on credits, so immediate funding required. I knew what I was aiming at. He ordered me to take the appropriate interim action to get feed for the birds. Thank you Sir and left his Office and I approached the ADC to the GOC/CDS (Buffalo Soldier, he the GOC was an acquaintant, for he once gave me a lift when I was in Uniform to Makola in his small green car or so when he was going to the Castle). I told the ADC about the problem and the orders of the Minister. Based on that the General invited me to his Office and signed a personal cheque equivalent to days GHC50,000.00 for the feeding of the birds before he could travel out of Ghana.

On his return from the trip, the PNDC through the GOC dampened my morale when a programme was initiated for the disbandment of GAFF (I was still the Commanding Officer). So I fought hard against it with master piece submissions (paper presentations) through the then Commander of Support Services Brigade on how the Ghana Armed Forces Farms can be made profitable or self-sufficient. I still have a copy of it. But my Superior Commander did not submit them to the GOC but wrote to commend me for the very good presentations and indicated that the directive from the PNDC/GOC cannot be changed. Out of a mystery, I was made the secretary of the Board of Survey for the Liquidation of the GAFF, thus gave me a seemingly power to disband GAFF, so with high morale, I was able to come out with a very good report with, Creditors/ Debtors lists, Assets inventory and recommendations for disposal action within a short time. The report received special commendations from the Commander. So I seemingly disbanded GAFF.

The background made me fearless. I had to use a tactical rebel action including requesting and attending the interview of the Brigade Commander for me to take over from another Major (my senior) as the Officer Commanding of an Infantry Battalion Rear Details. That was when the majority of the personnel of the Unit and the substantive Commanding Officer where in UN Peacekeeping Theatre.

Lastly, as the Officer Commanding of an Infantry Battalion Rear Details and with my ample knowledge of Military law especially the Code of Uniform or Service Discipline , I used a rebel (nonconformist) tactical approach without approval from Army HQ, to obtain personnel from the Ghana Navy, Ghana Air force and Police in Takoradi to augment the manpower of the Battalion Rear Details for a joint Military tri-Service cum Police personnel operation for anti-smuggling operations (OPS HUNTER), Operation Calm Life which is anti-armed robbery and violent crime operations in both the Central and Western Regions in the earliest days of His Excellency ex-President Kofour’s regime. This was so because I had an allies at the Castle including the late Atiemo a onetime DCE at Sewfi Wiaso later became a Director at the Castle during Ex-President Kofour era. CCOBOD also gave me jeeps etc so had enough logistics and not therefore depending for supplies etc from Army HQ.

Without approval from Military High Command but with the approval of Western Regional Security Council then chaired by the current CEO of COCOBOD, I deployed Soldiers and Police personnel in the location of Mining Companies in the Western Region and Bibiani using free logistics support (feeding, accommodation transport/fuel for patrols and pocket allowances at the cost of the Mining Companies supported by Mr YB Amponsah and others including Hon Adjei Mensah, the current MP of Daboasi, in the Western Region). Both of them were then the HR Managers of Mining Companies. Due to how I did the operations, so as in 2017 or so the Military High Command could not tell how Soldiers got deployed in the location of Mining Companies because I initiated the programme without logistics from Army HQ hence I did not seek approval or directive from the Army Headquarters for conducting an operation in my areas of responsibility. This is to tell how an Officer can easily stage a Coup.

Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya was just an NCO with the rank of Master Corporal and was wrongly commissioned into the Officer’s Corp with the Senior rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the deposed President Alpha Conde(his tribesman) made the Commander of the army's Special Forces Group (SFG). He helped Alpha Conde to repressive (suppressive) operations against opposition to Condi’s interest. Infact the issue of Condi’s successful extension his tenure of Office was made possible by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya. So he was an accomplice of any crime committed by the deposed President Alpha Condi. So he became swallow headed and requested autonomy of the SFG from the Ministry of Defence. Deposed President Alpha Condi refused his request. This was Alpha Condi’s sin. Hence the Coup was mainly due to the refusal to give his SFG autonomy from the Ministry of Defence which dampened the ego of Doumbouya, hence as the Head of the SFG, he exploited the lucrative opportune well known to him to overthrow Alpha Conde, suspended the Constitution and dissolved the relevant institutions.

Coup (rebel action) by the Military of the USA is said to be very difficult because among others, unlike Developing Countries like Ghana with one Military Academic Training School for Officers, the USA has several or separate or distinct Military Academic Training Schools and separates barracks unlike the Burma Camp that has the Air force, the Army (Infantry, Armour, Signals, Mechanical Battalion, the Military Police and other military elements co-located, thus enhancing easy collaboration or networking, so easy to mobilize and easy for stealth movement with speed. So in the USA, there is reduction of physical networking of Officers during training or due to living in the same barracks space. Troops of USA have high level of Professionalisms and are well Disciplined these have help to reduce possibility of a Coup in USA.

Coups may be prevented or minimize by coup-proofing, creating structures which will make it difficult for a small team to succeed in plotting a Coup. Good Logistics (Housing, vehicles etc) for the Military recommended. Employing loyal personnel or soldiers in the military, creation of armed force special units parallel to the regular Army, development of several internal security agencies, with overlapping jurisdiction for them to constantly monitor each other that is you meet or counter an Ambition with an Ambition. Other measures include frequent Salary increment, good promotion, good management of state resources, and free and fair or efficiency election system for participation of political parties. Training and use of soldiers in nation building. Involvement of the Police and Military in Peacekeeping Operations with good Peacekeeping Allowance. Inclusive governance, stakeholder engagements with new policies, reduction of protests by meeting their leaders of planned protestors to defuse tension.

Governments of Africa, should have good understanding of Consciencism developed by Dr Kwame Nkrumah hence Nkrumahism to deal with de-colonization or neo colonization and deal with class struggle. According to Consciencism, Africa has three elements of influences, namely the African Tradition, the Euro-Christian Tradition (the Christian Tradition and the culture of Western Europe) and the Islamic tradition which conflicting each other, hence the Nation must fashion systems and policies for harmonization of the three areas of influence. Hence the National Chief Imam must be commended with his quest for peace, hence his donation of money towards the proposed National Cathedral must be commended by peace loving persons. Maintain or the adoption of the regional balance concept as in the Constitution for recruitment and appointment for the security agencies. Fair promotion for Senior Officers who do no depend on exam for promotion. The President should continue to be the appointing authority for the IGP, CDS and Service Commanders with Police and Defence chaired by the Vice President. CDS, Service Commanders and IGP must not serve more than 4 years

The EC and the NPP Administration are hereby advised that there is no way the NDC Party will accept a defeat in three consecutive times hence the do and die mantra, so the process and the 2024 election must be well organized. The EC must reduce its arrogance because of the enjoyment of Independence. All Stakeholders matter.. Hence, Ghana should opt for transparent registration process for voters, and deployment electronic voting with transparency, probity and accountability touch.