02.04.2024 Feature Article

Nemesis of 1992 Constitution Part One - Appointment of CDS & Others, Open Letter to the Citizens

Nemesis of 1992 Constitution Part One - Appointment of CDS  Others, Open Letter to the Citizens
02.04.2024 LISTEN

The fate (luck) of the 1992 Constitution vis a vis the very good wisdoms of the framers of the Constitution, which made it to sustain Ghana’s Democratic credentials and anchored the Fourth Republic for over 30 years cannot be over stressed.

Consequently, Ghana can pride herself with several regime changes, involving four former Executive Presidents and one Sitting President and the development of eight successive Parliaments in the Fourth Republic. So, we need to do away with our intellectual, political and security dishonesty, hence need to tone down the rhetoric on matters of the Constitution. The should be sober reflection and analysis of issues by the application of critical Mind Set (Common Sense) hence need for decorum in the public discourses on the provisions of the 1992 Constitution and come out with pungent cases for the amendment of the Constitution.

Folks, since 2010, the 1992 Constitution has become the punching bag of some of our compatriots (Citizens) presumably due to lack of appreciation of the economic, social and political history behind it or of this Country and the character of the Ghanaian especially ‘our do you know who I am syndrome in our DNA’ coupled with what Hon Alhassan Suhuyini the MP for Tamale North, once said in one of the TV3s current affairs discussion in 2023 that there was a deficiency in critical mindset in our socioeconomic and political discourses. This could be a contributing factor for the failure to appreciate the wisdom behind the letters and spirits of the provisions of the 1992 Constitution.

Surprisingly, notwithstanding the status of the critics that is be they members of the intelligentsias in political science, History and Social Science, former Heads of State/some politicians, Constitutional experts and Lawyers, Experts in Governance and security experts, they have also joined the gullible public in castigating the wisdoms of the framers of the 1992 Constitution. Some went far to insult the bravery and the intelligence of the framers of the Constitution by saying that it was caved to satisfy the then Chairman of the PNDC.

This assertion demonstrated both the dishonesty and incompetency of some of our Compatriots because the 1992 Constitution was/is made of the provisions of the previous Constitutions otherwise a carbon copy of the 1979 Constitution with slight differences, including the alienation of the Vice President from the membership of the National Development Planning Commission (formerly as Ministry of Economy Planning) and the appointment of Ministers from Parliament etc.

As stated, the situation speaks volume of the lack of appreciation of the wisdom behind the letter and spirits of the 1992 Constitution as presented to us by my godfather, the late Pi Roland Ayigatem Adiali the First, a former paramount Chief of Chiana and the members of the Consultative Assembly of which he was the President or Speaker.

Before, I digress on the subject, pardon me to emphasis truly that the late Pi Roland Ayigatem Adiali the First was my godfather because he was the one who provided to me scholarships to Navrongo Secondary School, Navrongo and TI Ahamdiyaa Secondary School, Kumasi from the then Chiana Paga District Council then with one Mr Agbeli as the Clerk of Council.

The late Pi Adiali and my father the late Alhaji Seidu Bogobiri of Nocgsinia in Navrongo groomed me with the rich wisdom in life when they ensured that they gave me good education and always made sure that I was very close to them whenever it was possible.

So, I was one of the attendees to the deliberations on the 1992 Constitution through the Late Pi Adiali, then the President of the Consultative Assembly which drafted the 1992 Constitution. Also by God design, as the Commanding Officer of the then Ghana Armed Forces Farms (disbanded by December 1992), made me to be nominated as one of the attendees from the Ghana Army (from the then Support Services Brigade) to attend the public discourses of the Consultative Assembly for the 1992 Constitution whenever the Assembly was within reach say in Tema, Accra, Sunyani and Tamale, which were the locations of the Headquarters and subunits of the defunct Ghana Armed Forces Farms which made me to be available to be with one of my godfathers.

The two above mentioned persons were therefore great persons in my life because they invested both social and economic capital in me and gave directives that I should ensure to acquire and imbibe the necessary intelligence, act bravely and speak the truth without fear or favour at all times. So I intend to do to exactly that.

Folks, with the support of the vehicle of the leading online news portal (website) in Ghana namely Modern Ghana, (the name speaks volume of efforts to build a better Ghana), I am going to continue with my honest submissions on National Issues. You may Google for my true diagnosis on Open letter to the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament to operationalize the Komenda Sugar Production Series, which I academically and honestly indicated was not based on the need for economies of scale which will have suggested Tema enclave with better infrastructure, not based on economies by efficient use of the Sugar Refinery for 24/7 or the 24 hours economy.

Also the Sugar Factory was not based on the economy theory of Comparative Advantage (Savelegu area with massive land to afford production within the 40km radius and the area which can give better yield of sugarcane production at 80 metric tons per hectare than Sao Paolo in Brazil. This so, because sugar cane is C4 grass Plant and not based on the philosophy of backward integration (buying of raw sugar or plantation or sugar cane or promotion of out growers and no supportive National Sugar Policy, so these problems made it a white elephant project hence, an albatross on our neck.

The way forward for especially the Sugar Refinery component is the importation of raw sugar so that it become 24 hours economy venture to operate at breakeven point or at lessor profit margin due to the wrong location of the Sugar Refinery Component of the Sugar Production Series

Sugar Production Series is made of the three standalones ventures of (a). Sugar Plantation, (b). Sugar Mill and (c). Sugar Refinery. It must be noted that a sugar Mill must be within 40km meters radius to Sugar Plantations for it to be economical good in the production of brix solution and the Sugar Refinery must be made to operate efficiently 24/7 or throughout the year with few hours of maintenance schedules, need for a good national sugar Policy, hence a policy of import substitution at the appropriate time cannot be overstressed.

Enter the Appointment, Tenure and Removal of the CDS, Services Commanders including IGP

Every Democratic dispensation consists of three pronounced Arms of Government sharing sovereign powers with independence in decision making by the theory of Separation of Powers and through checking one another through the doctrine of checks and balances. The four Arms of Government are the Judiciary under the Chief Justice, Legislature under the Speaker of Parliament, the Executive under the President, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. A fourth Arm of Government is culled from the Executive Arm of Government with thin-line links with the Executive Arm of Government is provided in the Constitution of Ghana as the Independent Constitutional Executive Bodies which include the EC, CHRAJ, NCCE, Public Service Commission, Bank of Ghana, the National Media Commission etc.

Every Country is made of two Authorities namely the Civil Authority or Civilian Authority and the Military Authority. To ensure political direction and accountability, the Constitution for the Presidential System of Government using Ghana as example delineated four distinct elements as denoting the overall Head of National Executive as (1) the President, (2) Head of State. (3) The Head of Government and (4) the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces as in Article 57 of the 1992 Constitution. The Military Authority is under the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the high echelons of the Military hierarchal structure.

Beside other functions, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring public safety and Security resides in the Executive or the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces with the Police as the implementers and the IGP and his subordinates responsible for Internal Security operational matters to be supported by the Military in Internal Security Operations as and when necessary. To use of the Military must be contingent on the orders of an Elected Civilian Authority or his or her Delegated Officer as Regional Minister, hence done in the name of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The Police and the Armed Forces are organizations of the State which wield the power of the sword in the State with the President as the Head of State.

From the above it is therefore logical that beside that the elected Civilian Authority (Executive Authority) must be accountable to the electorates for the use of the power of the sword in the enforcement or the maintenance of law and order.

The electorates include the Chief Justice she or he votes for the President and his or her subordinates, the Speaker of Parliament and members of Parliament etc. the President must control the guns or key to the nuclear weapon if any. Hence, the President as the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief with his or her elected Civilian Authority must appoint the CDS, the Service Commanders, Police Commissioners (IGP or Commissioner One and others). So the President is accountable for the use of the power of the sword or guns to the Electorates indirectly through their Representation in Parliament and directly during Election for his renewal for a second tenure or for his Party to win.

The above implies that the CDS, Service Commanders and IGP must subordinate themselves to the Elected Civilian Authority, since he or she is their appointing Authority. So they hold their appointments to the pleasure of the Commander-in-Chief who is also the Head of State and the President.

Furthermore, the President takes or has taken the Oath of the Head of State on Allegiance to the Constitution to preserve, uphold, defend, protect the Constitution. The Political history with coups in Africa tells us clearly that the President is the embodiment of the Constitution, so the overthrow of the President in a Military Coup is synonymous with the overthrow of the Constitution.

To ensure trust or and loyalty in both ways, the President, as the Head of State must be the appointing and removal authority for the CDS, the Services Commanders and the IGP, since they are to assist him or her to protect, defend, uphold or enforce the Constitution and the Laws of Ghana. Hence, all Military Officers from Warrant Officers, Second Lieutenants up to the General of the Military and from Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP) up to Police Commissioner One (the IGP) are commissioned or appointed by the Head of State who also triple as the President, the Head of Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces by giving them appointing Commissions signed by him or her.

The above also implies that the tenure office of the CDS, the Service Commanders and the IGP may be conterminous with the Appointing Authority. Hence, Professor Atuguba and the others with their wide research work which culminated in the Report of the Constitutional Review Commission, disagreed with the then Police Hierarchy when they kicked against the President from appointing the IGP and others, so the affirmed the related Constitutional provisions and even went further to place the Appointment of the CDS, Services Commanders and the IGP under what they termed as Political (Constitutional) Office Holders.

The Constitutional provisions of each Nation are codified common sense superior laws based on the history or experiences of the Country. So, based on the history of numerous Coups in Nigeria including two successful successive Military Coups (the 1966 Coup and Counter Coup) almost in one day thus involving overthrow of two Heads of States civilian and Military) on the same day.

So the framers of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria made the President as the appointing Authority but nominees requires approval of the House of Reps and went further to decree that the operational use of troops must be approved by the President and or Governor of State of the Federation. This what President Dr Nkrumah should have done in the 1960 Constitution, he should not have left with the ‘political’ Generals. Generals and Police Commissioners everywhere have element of political tendencies or ideology like any citizen, so to need to be fair and impartial. So the CDS, Service Commanders and the IGP must be removed or go with the President who appointed them.

Under the Constitutional Independence neither the executive nor anyone one have the right to direct the IGP on how to conduct police daily operational activities. So undue influence be it political, religious or otherwise should not be allowed in police decision.

The Military and Police as stated are the appendages of the Executive, since Laws are enforced and carried out by the Executive branch of Government with the President as the Head, so as they are under the Executive, the IGP and the Police, the CDS etc are duty bound to take a bullet meant for the President, (protect him) hence the CDS and the IGP are normally the ceremonial ADC of the President in a National Parade say for Independence Anniversary. Loyalty must flow both ways so the President appoints his ADCs including his Ceremonial ADC.

It must be noted clearly that the Military and Police are political tools for diplomatic (political) missions for Peace enforcement and Peacekeeping or Peace Building with the Military for Defence of the Country or waging wars when necessary. Common sense will therefore dictate that the political authority through the Head of State, Governor of a State, and Mayor as applicable in USA must therefore be the appointing authority and removal authority for the Joint Chief of Staff or CDS as in Ghana, the Head of FBI as in USA or IGP as in Ghana.

The war situation between the Russia and the Ukraine is prolonged not by the Generals but by the egoism and orders of the affected two Presidents with the soldiers through their Generals obeying their affected Presidents. Dr Nkrumah sent Soldiers to Congo in 1960 on political mission just by orders to the Generals he appointed to move and act rightly.

Policemen are sent on Peacekeeping mission say Darfur on the Orders of the President to the IGP based on political decision. In the days of the late President Mills, he refused to send Soldiers to operation in Ivory Coast due to a political decision based on his political Philosophy of Diwufiayesam. So the President appointing authority should not be diluted may be an additional appointment authority like vetting by Parliament. This may tantamount to adding cost to cost.

At this juncture, let me cite examples including two American experiences with Political Generals as demo in the America Civil War for the emancipation of Slaves and dealing with secessionists attempt to break away from the America Federalism or Federal Statehood or hence need to halt or quell it, to drive my point home on why the President must be the appointing authority and the granting of the tenure of Office and removal to be left to the President to decide. This is due to the conduct of human beings including Generals with either political inclination or egoism or other influences.

Jefferson Davis, a democrat who was the first and only President of the Confederation States or the Southern States of USA which together with the Northern States formed the then Union before 1861 but fought in the American Civil War for the Slaves Emancipation by the Northern States, as the then Northern States as residual element of the Federal State with President Abraham Lincoln as the President of the Union or Federal State. In 1861 a Republican President namely President Abraham due to his political ideology he abolished the Slave trade in America. This did not go well with the Democrats of the Southern or Confederation States who wanted the continuation of the Slave Trade.

So Jefferson Davis, a Democrat as stated was then the President of the Southern States, in 1861 he ordered for the continuation of the slavery and ordered the Military Generals of the Southern States with Democrats outlook to fight for a break away from the Union or Federal State. This caused President Abraham Lincoln to also order the Generals of the Federal State who constituted an Army then under General George Mclean, as the Commander of the Army for the war effort.

Unfortunately, General Mclean, who managed to succeed in pushing the enemy and was almost winning the war was rather seen as wanted to prolong the war but President Abraham Lincoln wanted him to crash the belligerents, end the Slave Trade and bring the secessionists back to the Union for the formation of the Federal State. So based on mistrust he was fired by President Abraham Lincoln in the US Confederation War of 1862 and he, General Mclean later on became one of the unsuccessful Candidates in the USA Democratic Party Primaries nominees in 1864. This suggested his political lineage. President Abraham Lincoln replaced him with a new General who crashed the enemy in 1865 and brought the Slave Trade to an end in 1865.

President Harry S Truman of USA in 1951, fired celebrated General Douglas Macarthur (the Nonsense General or the No Retreat No Surrender or the ‘I shall Return to the Philippines, American General of the Alliance Forces who doubles as a Field Marshal of Philippines Armed Forces in the World War 2 against Japan which led to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan with the first and last usage of Atomic Bomb on 6 August 1945. .

General Douglas Macarthur was fired by President Truman because he thwarted President’s choice or attempt to negotiate ceasefire with North Korea and China in the Koreans War as result of the invasion of South Korea by North Korea. USA fought as the friendly forces of South Korea. President Truman wanted ceasefire in order to save as many lives as possible but the celebrated War General opted to continue the battle.

General Douglas MacArthur’s political linkage made the USA’s Congress to set up Congressional inquiry as to whether or not it was constitutional for President Truman’s action of sacking of the General. This was so because of the mistaken belief that the Military has been largely apolitical in the government and the inquiry found that it was within the Constitutional Authorities of the President and Commander-in-Chief, since the General(s) served to the pleasure of the President. So, this removal set the precedent in making it Constitutional for the President to remove a General without cause especially a disloyal General. President Truman was a democrat whilst this General later on became a Republican Party contender in the Presidential election in 1948 and 1952 in USA. This indicated his political links.

The political inclinations of Very Senior Police Officers or Senior Military Officers political is normal since 1992 as members of the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) and People Defence Committee (PDC) and PNDC which metamorphosed into the NDC, with the Democratic Dispensation with constitution which allows freedom Association. Service Personnel need not to be card bearing members of a political party, wear or use party accoutrements, attend a political party rally unless performing a duty as ADC, body guard etc. Their spouses and children have the luxury of freedom to be active member of a Political Party.

We should also note that Police Special Branch became the BNI now the NIB and since the era of the PNDC, recruitments, appointments and promotions are in secrecy by the National Security Coordinator who is a key member or a sympathizer of government of the day or the ruling party of a regime thus mainly political party patronages.

Notwithstanding, the state of affairs, the BNI now NIB performed professionally and creditably since its formation in the era of the PNDC. We should also note that Policemen and Soldiers vote for their favorite political parties hence secret party colors exists within the Security Services but Soldiers and Policemen are only required to be fair and impartial and not neutral since they also vote. Infact the Constitution is the supreme law and permits freedom of association without discrimination. We had a Police Officer who resigned and were elected as MPs, when parties required not less one year membership of the Party.

The Military and Police cannot and will not be operational Independent so by the Constitution of Nigeria the operations of the Police and the Military required prior approval from the elected Civilian Authority. Thus we should rather say the IGP’s operational responsibilities since for the example the IGP cannot be said to be Independent he is not above the Constitution or Island, so as an element of the Executive his work is subject to scrutiny or inquiry by the President, Minister of Interior, the Police Council, Parliament, so the IGP is only required to use his expertise, experience and number six sense to do risk assessment and with facts obtained come out with actions or control measures.

It must be noted that the Services Uniformed Secretaries/Military Secretary and Record Office maintain confidential records of Officers and Men respectively for selection for Courses or training, recommending for promotion and Appointments, retirement etc.

Also a Promotion Board is established twice in year to consider persons for promotion, Appointments. Persons qualified for promotion or appointments are sent to the Defence Council in the case of the Military and I am same to the Police Council. Appointment to the status the CDS, Service Commanders one must have been teething Arms from the Military namely Infantry, Armor, Recce, or Artillery, Signal, Engineer Regiment or Sappers etc for the Army same for the Air force and Navy you must be done operational command duties and related courses. So, it is not clear what some people meant by merit and competency, we should note that Regional Balance is a Constitutional provision, hence a merit or an advantage.

We also have a lot of intakes with a lot of intake mates these are creating serious problems in both the Military and Police and sometime contributing to the rate of attrition, so those campaigning for a change of the status need to be educated that most Service personnel should be happy with the current system say a maximum of four years and removal at the pleasure of the President or the C-in-C. Any change will be suicidal or anarchy and may elicit mutiny or a coup.

So our loquacious brothers and sister must watch and stop running amok with National Issues without in-depth knowledge on the matter. USA is one of the oldest democracies in the World with the oldest Constitution but it is the President since the era of President Lincoln in 19th century who appoints and disappoints the joint Chief of Staff (in Ghana CDS), the Director of FBI (in Ghana the Police etc).

Let me speak of the fairness and the professionalism of the Military of Ghana through the boldness and impartiality of the then CDS during the 2000 Presidential Election. That is through the very good work of then Lt General BK Akafia, as a CDS appointed by the NDC2 regime of Papa J in 1996. He help to ensure free and fair election in the 2000 Presidential Election but for his strict warning to the troops through their Services Commanders to be professional by being what he termed as apolitical and act appropriately President Kofour would not have been elected as the President and the C-in-C. Due to activities of macho men of party guards etc.

Thank you, Lt Gen BK Akafia, then Army Commander in 1994 and together with then Major Adinkrah (thank you Sir) who rose up to become Army Commander with the rank of Major General were/are my godfathers they both saved me from dismissal from the Ghana Army for an act, another Officer, who was a friend at Michel Camp, who later rose to become CDS wanted me to be sacked for no tangible reason. Hmm Awewura (my God is there). Let me add that I belonged to CPP later PNP and entered the Army as anti-PNDC but coincidentally, I was saved by the PNDC system but due to the seizure of the assets and collapse of the business of my late father/other issues and the seizure of my capital of several notes of fifty Cedis and the derailment of my business as Entertainment especially Dance Band Promoter in Kumasi and Accra, I became anti-NDC by default.

The good work of the late ACP Awuni as a professional Police Officer who dealt with everyone equally including unlawful Political Office Holders and the very good work of current IGP namely IGP Dr George Dampare notwithstanding his opened background as a former ADC to the then Vice President Mills of the NDC stable and yet he was appointed as the IGP by the current President from the NPP stable speaks volume that regardless of the perception of one’s political ideology either capitalism or socialism, troops under good leadership will work creditably.

Since we are talking about political links of Service personnel. Let say again this is not news with my personal situation/experiences. My brother and friend then Lt Col Nutakor in 1997 or so was accused by some local newspapers for being pro NDC because he was then attached to the Castle but I can tell that he performed his work with professionalism, treated people fairly and with respect etc.

Let me also put on record that notwithstanding my anti-NDC stand but by God I was professional in my posture and worked honestly and diligently as a very youthful Army Captain with exuberance and in 1992 as the Commanding Officer of the then Ghana Armed Forces Farms (set up by the late General Acheampong and now defunct), I kept a good posture in the Military with a reporting line directly to the then PNDC Secretary for Defence (Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama) and at times reporting to Hon Mr Yieleh Chireh on matters on the then massive confiscated lands and cattle at Kasoa both named assets belonged to the late Alhaji Mamikakain were under my care.

I must say that it was not very easy for me in the training era at Military Academy and to the time I was promoted to the rank of Major, so I had to resign from the Army at a very youthful age. I must add that notwithstanding my anti NDC stands, I still provided macho men from a private security Company for a Parliamentary candidate of the NDC in the Central Region in 2008 and I can tell how a strong member of NPP campaigned for the NDC Parliamentary Candidate for 2008 elections for the Prestea Huni Valley Constituency.

The NDC and the NPP led by my two Northern brothers hence the value is the same that is a northern brother is going to win and other Presidential Hopefuls are hereby assured that the Ghana Police under Dr George Dampare and the Armed Forces under my good friend Lt General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, the CDS are going to provide good security for the National Elections. Also parties must understand that the 1992 Constitution has made it very clear that elections are won at the pooling stations by using literate credible and alert pooling agents and not macho men.

To conclude, to the critics of the 1992 Constitution, I wish to educate them that IGP Dr Dampare, the CDS, the Service Commanders are fully aware that they are President Nana Addo’s appointees and will definitely go with him, hence the Professor Atuguba CRC was right to label these appointees as Political Appointees.

It is worth to say that His Excellency President Mahama also did an excellent job in the Political history of Ghana when regardless of the closeness of my former Commanding Officer namely Gen OB Akwa to Dr Addo Kofour, then Minister of Defence as his Special Aid and President Kofour as his ADC, His Excellency JD Mahama appointed him as the Army Commander and who by God was appointed to the status of CDS by President Nana Addo from 2017 to 2021. Thus demo the litmus test of the impartiality or seemingly apolitical nature of the Security personnel.