The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, on Friday announced the retirement of the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. Obed Boamah Akwa and appointment of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, to act as Chief of Defence Staff.
According to a communiqué signed by Eugene Arhin, Acting Director of Communication at the presidency, the appointment is to effect from February 5, 2021, pending consultation with the yet-to-be-constituted Council of State, but The Herald’s military sources, have hinted that the institution is set for some interesting days if care is not taken.
The sources described Rear Admiral Seth Amoama as a fine and dedicated officer, but he is bound if the President doesn’t handover the military to him to run effectively as the administrative head, but continuous to empower the Army Commander, Major General Oppong-Peprah over and above CDS as happened under Lt. Gen. Akwa.
Indeed, many say Major General Oppong-Peprah, had carried himself as the replacement for Lt. Gen. Akwa, therefore, his non-appointment by the President, opens up the military to clash of ego and possible power play between him and Rear Admiral Seth Amoama.
The recent involvement of soldiers, particularly the army in many illegal activities in the country, have become a major concern for many people, especially retired officers.
The blame has been placed at the doorstep of the Army Commander, who according to The Herald’s sources, have been dropping the President’s name about. He has children with the daughter of the Queenmother of Akyem, Nana Adutwumwaa Dokua.
The soldiers have been involved in land guard duties in Dome Faase in the Greater Accra Region in a manner which almost sparked ethnic war between Ga people and the Akyem people, until the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, stepped in to defuse the tension by refusing claims that the land in question belong to the Akyem Abuakwa in the Eastern Region.
A petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh by the Okyehene to deal with those behind the Dome Faase incident was not heeded.
He mentioned that Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma, who had led the carnage in that area, was not the Mponuahene of Akyem Abuakwa, and demanded that he was dealt with by the law.
Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma, was identified as an ex-soldiers and errand boy for Major General Oppong-Peprah, who at the time of the illegal land grabbing activities with the use of soldiers was in the employment of the Forestry Commission.
Indeed, one of the many cars burnt in the clash between the people and the land guards belonged to the Forestry Commission.
Currently making the headlines is the presence of army personnel in Tontokrom, with some senior army officers captured as aiding the wanton devastation of the environment.
Among the officers, Major General Oppong-Peprah and the General Officer Commanding, Central Command, Brigadier General J.A Aphour, are named as beneficiaries of Tontokrom illegal mining site.
These, including the Techiman South killings of the innocent civilians by soldiers and police officers during the dispute of the parliamentary election results, following the December 2020 general elections has gotten some of the officers to call on the President to call his Army Commander to order, since the replacement of Lt. Gen. Akwa with Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, will amount to nothing.
The statement from the Presidency had mentioned that “this appointment has been made following the completion of the tour of duty and subsequent retirement from the Ghana Armed Forces, on 5th February 2021, of the current Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. O.B Akwa,” the statement said.
Fifty-four-year-old Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, until his current appointment was appointed as Chief of Naval Staff by President Akufo-Addo in 2019.
The incoming Chief of Defense Staff who succeeded Rear Admiral Peter Faidoo has been in active service with the Navy since 1990.
According to Mr Arhin, President Akufo-Addo “has expressed his gratitude to him for his dedicated and meritorious service to the Ghana Armed Forces and to the nation.”
Also appointed by the President with effect from February 5, 2021, are Rear Admiral Issah Adams Yakubu to act as Chief of Naval Staff, also pending consultation with the yet-to-be-constituted Council of State.
Rear Admiral Yakubu, until his new appointment, was the Chief of Staff at General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces.
“The President will, in due course, in accordance with applicable regulation, appoint a new Chief of Staff at General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces,” Mr Arhin added.