Former Chief of Defense Staff, Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah, has described the appointment of new people to head key security institutions like the police service and the military after every change in government as wrong.
Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah served as Chief of Defence Staff under the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council government in 1979, but was relieved of his post.
[contextly_sidebar id=”DKlRe71BmZj3M7dogLJ1dSeT0bGZ1uAt”]Following the revolution however, he was appointed to serve under the PNDC regime, led by Jerry John Rawlings, a position he left after some differences with the then Head of State.
According to Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah, who was speaking at the third event in the Accra Dialogue series at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration Law Faculty on Wednesday, it should be possible for the heads of these crucial institutions to serve across different administrations in spite of whichever political party is in power, as he had done.
“President Rawlings was a good friend of mine, but I resigned from the government and left on principle. You must have something to believe in; be principled, and when those principles are challenged, stand on your feet. Here in Ghana, every President who comes fires the old one and brings in a new one. We’re Ghanaians, I’ve served in every government – in CPP, in the NPP and the NDC. I’m a patriot and a nationalist, why can’t I serve any other government?” he quizzed.
He believes that the practice of replacing officials like the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) whenever a new party comes into power was an unfortunate one that needs to be stopped.
“It’s wrong for us to come in and change IGPs and CDSs. They can overlap because we’re Ghanaians so who says that after serving in the previous NDC government, I can’t serve the NPP as well? I was Nana Addo’s closest friend in 1998, his campaign manager, so why can’t I serve NPP? I can serve anybody. I am a Ghanaian, and a patriot and I love my country. We shouldn’t be toying with our leaders, whether it’s the IGP or someone else. It’s wrong for you to come in and fire them, it doesn’t speak well of the country. They should also stand on their feet and go after anyone who does wrong, whether it’s NPP or the NDC.”
Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah called on persons appointed IGPs and CDSs to be more assertive and “stand their ground” whenever they are asked to compromise their principles.
He stated that, his refusal to settle on compromises while serving in successive administrations cost him his position, an action he does not regret.
“I’ve been fired twice already as Chief of Defense Staff and that’s why experience is always the best teacher. I’m asking the IGPs and the CDSs to be tough, but when you are tough, there’ll be consequences. Be prepared to stand on your feet. I was in the school which trained Winston Churchill and we were taught to be tough and principled. That’s what our leaders should be,” he noted.
“If you are a military man, or an IGP, you know your job. I was fired as CDS because I wouldn’t take anything because I was a principled person. The President then couldn’t take my principled position and fired me but I didn’t bother.”
The current IGP, COP David Asante-Apeatu and CDS, Major General Obed Akwa, were appointed by the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government after the previous occupants of the position who had been appointed under the previous administration retired.
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana