The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) was recently in the news following the suspension of the recruitment exercise it had embarked upon last year. When the news about the suspension was made public, people read different meanings into the decision. Whilst a section of the public argued that the exercise was suspended for political reasons, others also said the right procedure was not followed in the recruitment process. There were even rumours that the exercise was suspended because most of the recruits came from a particular region.
The Chronicle is, therefore, happy that the GAF has decided to set up a committee of inquiry to look into the circumstances that led to the suspension of the whole exercise. “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, to clarify all issues raised on its conduct and make recommendations for the way forward,” the Chief of Staff of the GAF, Brigadier General R. Winful said in a letter he wrote to the military hierarchy to set up the committee.
Normally, issues involving the military are kept secret, but for Brig. Gen. Winful to set up such a committee, shows how they are determined to get to the bottom of the case. There is no doubt that the security of this country is in the hands of the military, and that is why members of the public are always agitated when issues about them are made public.
While congratulating them for the setting up of the committee, The Chronicle also wishes to draw the attention of the Military to some disturbing reports that new recruits as part of filling forms for their recruitment, are made to indicate their ethnicity on the forms. We do not know the rationale behind such a decision, but we think it is a dangerous trend. Ghana has about 52 languages and it would be very difficult for those in charge of the recruitment to satisfy all these ethnic groups.
All the new recruits are Ghanaians, therefore, what the GAF must seek to do is to satisfy the regional balance as mandated by the constitution. We are giving this advice because we can foresee the polarisation of this country if other security agencies also decided to know the ethnic background of their job seekers. We would not mind if the decision is meant to determine the nationality of the recruit, but anything short of this is dangerous and we must try and avoid it
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