OPPOSITION LEADER: Soldiers are complaining about supplies of boots and other accoutrements – An Owula Mangortey observation

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The invitation to meet some ORs of the Ghana Armed Forces came to the CoW

The CoW met the NCOs, saw their military fatigues, especially their deteriorating camouflage boots for routine duties (pictures attached).

A pair of deteriorating camouflage boots of a Ghanaian soldier in December, 2019.
A pair of deteriorating camouflage boots of a Ghanaian soldier in December, 2019.

Is this the level of the military of President Akufo-Addo’s tenure?

The question is simple: Is the Ghana Armed Forces so cash-strapped that it is unable to supply boots and other attires to soldiers?

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Is the GAF so broke it can not get local supplies of boots for its soldiers?

Yet the Ghana Armed Forces could get funds to contract Robert Ashie Kotei (RAK) Ventures to import USD 9,910, 800 worth of AMMO in December, 2018?

Section 8(1) of the Ghana Armed Forces Act 105 of 1962 clothes the President
with full powers as the Supreme Commander to cater for the logistic requirements of Ghanaian soldiers.

How come soldiers are complaining that since 2017, the President has taken his eyes off the supply of their accoutrements, especially their combat fatigue dresses?

How come soldiers are complaining that even what was issued to them in 2017 were the uniforms ordered by former President Mahama in 2016?

The soldiers say that as their Supreme Commander, the President must be aware of the importance of unforms to the military.

They say the President must know that a good turnout is a soldier’s pride on and off duty. Because, it is good for self confidence, discipline, command and control, high morale and efficiency.

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The soldiers say they know and appreciate how a good turn out on the drill square distinguishes men from boys.

They say they know the hazards of inappropriate uniforms as any wear and tear can be problematic.

So, the soldiers ask whether there are any reasons for the Supreme Commander not issuing combat fatigue dresses to soldiers since 2017, when as Supreme Commander he knows that the annual minimum issue of combat dresses is two (2) pairs?

The soldiers say usually at least two (2) pairs per person per year of boots are issued.

When you read “In A Theory of Military Dictatorships” (NBER Working Paper No. 13915), the authors, Daron Acemoglu, Davide Ticchi, and Andrea Vindigi, point out that creating a powerful military is a double edged sword for the elite who want to maintain power.

The authors construct a model that assumes that the means of violence in a society are in the monopoly of the military.

So, if the elite decide to form a strong military, then they have to live with the political moral hazard problem that this causes.

In particular, a strong military may not simply work as their agent, but instead may turn against them, creating or supporting a regime more in line with its own.

Accordingly, can the Supreme Commander of the Ghana Armed forces explain his thinking in allowing soldiers to wear such deteriorating camouflage boots for routine duties?

OPPOSITION LEADER: Are you listening carefully to the heartbeat of the Military, Security and Intelligence community?

More anon.


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