Lt. Gen. Smith Officials of the Ghana Armed Forces who had persistently denied media reports of an impending ethnic cleansing in the military, have now been caught pants down, DAILY GUIDE can say.
Nine days after the paper alerted the public on the alarming development, and the abrupt stoppage of a military training of over 400 recruits, fresh documents intercepted by the paper have proven beyond reasonable doubt that the Public Relations Directorate of the force had lied to Ghanaians about the situation.
After unceremoniously dispersing young recruits from camp some 10 days ago under the pretext of lack of logistics, the top military administration is now neck-deep into an agendum to replace the recruits with the cohorts of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), a situation which lays bare the expert cover-ups of Colonel Emmanuel W.K. Nibo, the Public Relations Director of the Ghana Armed Forces.
A Board of Inquiry has officially been set by the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier-General R. Winful, to look into the process of recruitment of the potential recruits, which took place as far back as July 2008, with the intent of getting them replaced.
A letter constituting the board dated 6th February 2009, read:
“Four hundred and twenty (420) potential Army recruits were selected in a general recruitment exercise conducted in July 08 to commerce training at AFRTS. However, due to some pertinent issues raised on the conduct of the recruitment exercise, the planned training was put on hold to enable clarification of all matters in respect of the exercise. A Board of Inquiry is, therefore, being convened to conduct investigations into the recruitment exercise, clarify all issues raised on its conduct and make recommendations on the way forward”.
The board comprises Col. Braimah Musah (Provost Marshal – President), Col. S. Odoi-Gyampo (GHQ MED – member), Lt. Col. R.S. Nyaka (Army HQ – member), Lt. Col. T. Ampofo-Gyekye (Defence Intelligence – member), and Lt. Col. R. Adwini (GHQ Education – member/secretary).
As its terms of reference, the board is expected to among others determine whether proper procedures were followed in the selection, whether the bids for the various services, corps and units were met, whether regional balance was satisfied, and whether the list of 420 potential recruits was infiltrated by unqualified persons.
A group of seven officers have also been named in the document as witnesses. They are: Air Commodore C.E.K. Dovlo, Director-General, Personnel and Administration (DGPA); Col. K. Damoah (DMP); Lt. Col. R.A. Gyane (Army HQ); Lt. Cdr. E.O. Nyarko; Dr. A.H. Sahnoon; Dr. P.G. Agbenohevi (all of 37 Military Hospital); and Maj. J. Vander-Pallen (GHQ Rec).
DAILY GUIDE has gathered that after the board submits its report, not only will the entire 840 recruits (for 2 batches) be replaced with NDC faithful, but also, the recommendations will be used as a basis to sack a number of senior army officers, who are seen as stumbling blocks to the 'new agenda'.
It would be recalled that when the story broke over the directive to stop the training exercise a few days ago, the PR directorate waded into the matter with a plethora of excuses, including lack of logistics.
When asked whether the same group of potential recruits would be recalled when logistics are ready, Col Nibo said he could not readily tell. He again could not tell when they would be recalled.
DAILY GUIDE has stumbled upon a directive from the echelons of the ruling NDC, asking each constituency to send four names of people the party considered fit to replace the now removed recruits.
“It is an unusual and frightening situation. The Army is supposed to be politically neutral, and that is the reason why we always insist on regional, geographical and religious balance during intake period. This country is gradually drifting towards a precipice,” a worried officer told the paper at the time.
The discrepancy between Nibo's explanations and the fresh documents seems to be opening a can of worms in the military.
By Bennett Akuaku