03.02.2006 General News

Fiddling With National Security

By Chronicle
Fiddling With National Security
03.02.2006 LISTEN

Accra, Feb. 3 (Chronicle) --If there is one minister who is consumed by his image, it is Dr. Addo Kufuor, the good-looking Minister for Defence: And he has been successful at cultivating that. So far, his super efficient dream merchant, Mr. Appiah-Agyei, has done his professional best in ensuring that the dapper 64-year-old medical-officer-turned-politician always keeps his shining shoes glistening before the public, while carefully masking the maggots that are breeding in the innards of the establishment he superintendents. The largely hypocritical, praise-singing media studiously give him cover, quivering in obsequiousness. None of the relevant questions are being asked, and the whole nation is fooled into thinking that all is well with the defence establishment.

The Chronicle knows that all is not well, and there are some serious journalists who for example know about the circumstances of the Addo Kufuor -General Seth Obeng tensions and bloodbath that made this fine officer and gentleman finally leave the services of the motherland on a very sour note, and history and the Good Lord shall judge those who refused to bark when they had to, for considerations that are not exactly patriotic.

In the supreme interest of this nation, The Chronicle submits that all is not well, and as it is with our well-grounded tradition, we shall do our duty to God and country and rouse the nation to the approaching sound of thunder that deserves every Ghanaian's attention, particularly the Executive, in whose hands the security of our nation is reposed.

The Enquirer newspaper has been chronicling matters of grave importance to the stability of this nation over the last few days.

Yesterday's edition was probably the high point. It was unprecedented and gave the most terrifying signals, which any student of intelligence can tell, that things have reached a boiling point among the most volatile and fluid wing of the armed forces - the junior ranks- among whom the incubus that dogged and haunted the better part of our nationhood, preyed on and rode to power. And they are giving us all the signals.

In the command and control structure of the military, there is no way non-commissioned officers, (those in junior ranks) can speak to the press the way these soldiers did, unless they are prepared for the inevitable consequences of punishment.

Furthermore, they would not go to the extent they did, if they had not dug themselves in, in their numbers, to be able to marshal enough support to confront and probably deal with the issue. And therein lies the danger for us all; first as ordinary citizens, then officers of the Ghana Armed Forces, then the lawmakers, most of whom appear to be oblivious of the potential danger that lurks in the still of the night, and finally, our painfully and slowly maturing democracy.

As for the Ministers, it appears a small number of them are making things provocative for others, and to see that they are getting away with crimes against their own constituents, stokes the flames of anger and provides the gas for the raging despair that paralyses rational thinking and patience.

To quote an alarming paragraph in the Enquirer story about Sergeant Akoto: “One soldier threw a wind of caution and said, looking at Ghana's history, the 1979 mutiny and the subsequent coup d'etat, several junior officers joined the uprising because it provided them the platform to break military discipline and rise against their commanding officers..The soldiers said it is for this reason that junior officers do not risk all they have to resist illegal overthrow of governments.”

If Dr. Addo Kufuor and Mr. Francis Poku, the national security coordinator, after reading this, have rolled over to sleep, then we are in deep trouble.

Francis can be usually trusted to move in his usual cool, calculating way of diffusing tensions by side-stepping the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks to advise the President and go ahead to do something, but we wonder whether he is still the steady hand he is known to be.

But for Addo Kufuor, he has one major problem: He sees himself in the mirror and passionately believes he is the fairest of them all. He is a man possessed by an extraordinary belief in himself, the quintessential megalomaniac. It is the prayer of the Chronicle that his brother, Mr. George Kufuor, and his image manager, Mr. Appiah-Agyei, look him straight in the eye, and tell him to get back to work, in order to heal the hurt that is in the hearts of the junior ranks.

It is not something that can be simply wished away. Instead of pursuing his legitimate right to pursue the presidency, he will serve his brother's presidency faithfully to its logical end, if he kept his eye on the job. His most foolish adventure with this office will come to naught if the nation's stability is not secured in the first place.

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