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04.07.2005 Press Review

EDITORIAL: Congrats And Farewell, Seth Obeng

Lt. Gen. Seth Obeng, the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) last week formally handed over the staff of office including handing-taking over notes to his successor Major Gen. Danquah.
The former CDS was for the past four years the CDS of the Ghana Armed Forces and undoubtedly, dutifully and diligently served his generation in that capacity. The same goes for the other Service Chiefs who worked with him as a team to serve Ghana.
They, upon assuming the CDS and the other Command positions at the inception of the administration of the Kufuor Government, overhauled a highly politicised Armed Forces and brought it back to its traditional role of serving the Republic instead of pandering to the whims and caprices of political parties and partisan traditions.
First of all, the 64 Battalion commonly known as the Commandos apparently formed as an elite guard for Rawlings was strategically re-integrated within the Armed Forces.
Likewise political groupings known as the Association of Committees to Defend the Revolution (ACDRs) were also banned from the Forces. Political activities like the celebration of 31st December and June 4 annually, marked by parades throughout the country – an activity declared by the Courts as illegal – was also halted.
So also, was the cordial relationship between the Armed Forces and the civilian populace that had hitherto been destroyed, tremendously restored.
Antagonistic scenes where the late Forces Sergeant Major, Red Light apparently inspired by the posturing of J.J. Rawlings, the then Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, could stand in the presence of the former and declare “freedom of association” in reaction to the freedom of the press, became a thing of the past.
In fact, morale is very high in the Forces currently as it had been restored, by the CDS and his able Lieutenants. Infrastructural developments and welfare problems have improved though a lot more needs to be done in those respects.
Apart from these things, soldiers have in response to national duties collaborated with the police to check armed robberies.
We are of the hope therefore that Major General Danquah, Gen. (rtd) Obeng's successor will pick it from where the former has left off and in the right emulation of his predecessor, Major Danquah will bring joy to the Armed Forces and civilians.
As we round up, we congratulate Gen. (rtd) Obeng and his colleagues and wish them very very well in retirement as well as praying that God will guide Major Gen. Danquah and his team to live up to expectation as their predecessors had done.