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29.05.2006 General News

Raging storm in armed forces

By The Heritage
Raging storm in armed forces
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The Heritage says it can authoritatively report there is a deadlock, and rising tension between the Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General J.B Danquah on one hand and his three service commanders, made up of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Odoteye, Chief of Air Staff, Joe Boateng and Chief of Naval Staff, over appointment to some key positions within the top brass of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The three service commanders in a series of meetings with the DCS over the past ten days have kicked against his recommendation for the appointment of Major Sarkodie Ababio as the Commanding Officer in charge of the Forces Pay Office, an outfit that services almost as exchequer to the nation's military.

Military sources told the Heritage that the list of the various promotions and appointments made by the appointing authority within the army which is supposed to be released next month could delay because of this corrosives power struggle within the high echelon of the army.

The Heritage intelligence sources within the top brass of the military revealed that, the GAF in its routine appointments and promotions of officers to different levels agreed to the elevation of three officers: Major Mahmoud Tahiru, Major Sarkodie Ababio and Major Addo to the rank of Lieutenants Colonel.

There was also consensus and unanimity between the Defence Service Commanders on the posting of Lt. Colonel Abdullai, the current commanding officer of the Forces Pay Office to the Defence Finance at the General Headquarter.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. General J.B Danquah is pushing for the replacement of Lt. Colonel Abdullai with Major Sarkodie Ababio as the Commanding Officer of the Forces Pay Office.

This appointment is what has created the spat and the smouldering discontent within the top brass of the military pitching the CDS against the three service commanders who thought Major Sarkodie Ababio does not deserve to occupy that slot.

The reason for the rejection of that appointment by the three commanders according to close sources within the military top brass is that Major Sarkodie Ababio is not the most senior among all the three promoted Majors mentioned above.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive and emotive nature of the issue, a senior officer within the military told this reporter that military promotions and recommendations are based entirely on seniority either by date of appointment, promotion or numbering, and so there is no way Sarkodie could be appointed to such a position when his seniors are there, unless through unorthodox means.

The top brass military officers, who spoke to the Heritage on condition of shielding their identity, said the reason for the resistance, it is alleged, is that there are attempts by certain individuals to create a far flung network of favourites and cronies at certain strategic positions within the armed forces.