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17.04.2012 Editorial

No Longer Commander-In-Chief

By Daily Guide
President John Evans Atta MillsPresident John Evans Atta Mills
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Some remarks reduce the esteem of those who pass them and open the floodgates, as it were, for people to freely speak their varied impressions.

President John Evans Atta Mills told Ghanaians a few days ago that he is not a policeman and so the queries he has received in the wake of the violence-dogged biometric registration are misdirected.

He seized an opportunity offered by a so-called visit to registration centres to display his true self, away from the often-touted picture of a saintly personality who savours peace.

Hypocrisy is easy to discern, regardless of how much it is veneered by its perpetrators.

We are passing through interesting times hinged on President Mills's weird approaches to critical national affairs. When President Mills made the infamous remarks, he reminded many about the promise he made to make armed robbery a thing of the past as he assumed the reins of governance as Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces with the constitutionally vested power to declare war or peace. It was an indirect swipe at the previous government which, he suggested by his pledge, had failed to arrest the rising tide of crime in the country. At the time, he understood that as President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, he had the oversight responsibility of all the security agencies as evidenced by his powers to appoint their heads and to commission into service their officers. That is one of the demands of holding the office of Commander-In-Chief.

President Mills continues to surprise both his former colleagues in academia and political opponents, not forgetting foreign observers- the recent denial of his role as Chief Security Officer of the Republic of Ghana not being an exception.

It is beginning to come out clearly that there was no iota of sincerity in his promise to the people of Dagbon that he was going to track and arrest the killers of the late Overlord of the traditional area. It was all but a political stint intended to rake in the votes of the aggrieved people of that part of the country. Did he at the time consider one of the responsibilities of President as protecting both Ghana's territorial and internal security from external aggressors and common criminals?

We wonder whether at the time that he was spewing lies to get power, he understood what it meant to be Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The title might sound titular or symbolic but its significance lies in the fact that the personality so referred to has the power to determine the security policy and its implementation of the country.

It is a primary responsibility of presidents to ensure that the citizenry go about their businesses without security challenges in their way. It is not a favour from a president to ensure this cardinal task of the office that he holds.

If President Mills seeks to vary his terms of reference as the man at the helm, he has got it wrong because besides being a constitutionally mandated responsibility, it stands to reason that whoever calls himself Father For All must conduct himself as such. Ghanaians are disappointed.


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