Owula Mangortey writes: Major General Thomas Oppong Peprah chalks 100 Days as Army Chief, what next?

I am a Citizen.

I am a whistle blower with a known face and address.

I rise to comment on the 100 days chalked in office by my good friend MAJOR-GENERAL OPPONG-PEPRAH as the Chief of Army Chief (COAS).

I wonder why in Ghana we criticise and lampoon people and still call them my good friend. I cringe.

H. E. Vice President Dr. Bawumia says all sorts of negative things about President Mahama (as he then was) and meets him in the presence of the National Chief Imam, smiles with him and calls him my good friend.

I hear the bread hungry, brain dead, self- confessed wee smoker on Thursdays Metro TV Good Morning Ghana calling each individual whose finger he has chewed my good friend.

My good friend Maj. General Oppong- Peprah. Aaaah!!

I ask what next in view of recent speculations about who succeeds Lt. General OBED AKWA as the next Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces.

Those who wanted to know of the achievements of General Oppong- Peprah pored through his record, as well as did a walk-about in some barracks including Burma Camp, listening and listening to the heartbeat of a radom cross section of Officers and men.

They were surprised to learn of the respect and goodwill General Oppong Peprah enjoys.

They were more surprised with the impression they got that Maj. General Oppong-Peprah is a professional soldier with the image of a CHIEF WELFARE OFFICER OF THE GHANA ARMED FORCES.

They traced the General’s history from when he was a Captain and ADC ( Aide-de-Camp) to Lt. General Akafia, who rose to the high office of Chief of Defence Staff, through his service work

at the 64 Battalion, Training School, Defence Intelligence, Peace Keeping Operations, GOC Southern Command, Chief of Staff, GAF Headquarters to his present position as the Chief of Army Staff.

A very surprising common theme that runs through the testimonies about him is that Maj.Gen. Oppong-Peprah is a professional soldier who takes seriously, and focuses on the welfare of his Officers and men.

Very surprising!

It is common knowledge that National Security Chiefs do not normally speak out openly, so they are unlikely to speak about their pillars in the Security Architecture.

However, from the reports on the life and works of Oppong-Peprah, said to be a professional soldier committed to the peace and stability of this country over the years, it will be interesting for the sake of Military and National Security History, to hear privately what can be said about soldier OPPONG- PEPRAH by past National Security Capos like the legendary Capt. Kojo Tsikata (rtd), Mr. Totobi Quakyi, Naval Capt. Assasie-Gyimah (rtd), Mr Francis Poku, Dr. Ghartey Amoo, Lt. Col.Gbevlo-Lartey (rtd) and Mr. Yaw Donkor.

What is quite revelatory in the report is the simple but very important information that MAJOR- GENERAL OPPONG-PEPRAH is neither an Akyem, nor an Ashanti, nor a Kwahu.

Quality control checks were made to assess the information that General Oppong-Peprah is from DORMAA-AHENKRO in the Bono Region. A full blooded Dormaa man.

It is quite a significant piece of information in the face of efforts in Government and NPP circles to purposefully pigeon-hole him as an Akyem or an Asante or a Akwahu.

Social life in Burma Camp is interesting. There are some barracks in which soldiers seem to be competing to install split airconditioners to cool their rooms, and they place many “Kufuor gallons” behind their windows into which water from the airconditioners are channelled.

The swimming pool and recreational places are closed and it is noticeable the efforts fitness freaks put in to exercise by going on long walks.

It is enjoyable to listen to the gossips about other peoples’ marriages which those women share as they sit clustered in the open spaces behind their barracks.

How come some soldiers use old newspapers to wipe their backsides in one of the toilets in one offices at Burma Camp?

What is the cost of toilet tissue paper?

A walk about in the area from the Provost Marshall to the Pay Office, Military Records, Medicals, Public Relations, Command Mess, Burma Hall, and a polite request of an OR at a reception of an office to use a washroom.

After going through the mandatory handwashing with soap, a direction was given to the washroom.

Shocking to note that there was no toilet tissue paper, and horror!! Old newspapers were being used as arse wipes in this day and age by soldiers in the toilet of such an important office?

A note was left for the Commanding Officer of the office whose toilet was visited. Those who have ears let them hear!

Please, our soldiers should read TELEPHONE CONVERSATION by Wole Sonyinka.

What next for Major- General Oppong- Peprah after one hundred days in office as the COAS?

Is he in line to be promoted and appointed the next Chief of Defence Staff?

Some troops love the idea and gleefully support the motion for General Oppong- Peprah to be appointed the new CDS.

Others think it is too early, and that Gen.Oppong- Peprah must not be rushed.

It is their view that he must focus on building a more disciplined, professional, military-values oriented Army.

He must abhore, eschew frown on and stop any form of training of NPP vigilantes and hoodlums by soldiers at military installations at Asutsuare, the Achiase Jungle Warfare Training School and other obscure places in the country.

Some Officers and men said that soldiers are loyal to their military structures, and believe in hierachy, chain of command and seniority, etc.

According to them, Oppong- Peprah was promoted Brigadier-General under President Mahama, and was recently promoted to the rank of a Major- General under President Akufo-Addo. He is a junior among the Mohicans (Generals). So, it will be strategically unwise to rush to promote and appoint Major- General Oppong- Peprah as the next CDS.

He has not served for even one year as the COAS for him to be shipped upstairs as a CDS. And he has more years of service ahead of him.

So, the advice of these group of right thinking Officers and men is that nobody should create unnnecessary problems for their Chief Welfare Officer, Major- General Oppong- Peprah.

Who then should be the next CDS in view of what is considered as ROTATION OF THE CDS POSITION?

“There is nothing like a ROTATIONAL system of appointment of CDS, and for that matter, into any office in the Ghana Armed Forces,” said one Officer.

“It was only during the period 2013 to 2016 that two (2) “unorthodox” Generals were appointed consecutively; first in the history,” he said.

According to the Officer, “it is often argued that, because of the current numbers of persons eligible in the respective Services in the ratio of 3:1:1, such ROTATION should follow same, if at all.”

“I am telling you candidly that one of the reasons for rumblings in the barracks in 2016 before the elections was the disconnect between the huge army personnel numbers and the two (2) Services,” he opined.

“Presently, appointing the CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF as the next Chief of Defence Staff, is more likely, for STABILITY. So, I will point in the direction of Rear Admiral AMOAMA as the next CDS. He is a fine, intelligent, knowledgeable and capable General,” he advised.

“Well, some of us expect that even if Maj. Gen.

Oppong-Peprah does not get the CDS position now, he will get it before the 2020 Elections,” intoned some ORs.

If those who have ears for picking up Intelligence do their work, if they listen carefully to the heartbeat of the troops, they will hear that appointing Major- General Oppong- Peprah as the next CDS will be a crazy move prone to causing rumblings in the Ghana Armed Forces.

If Rear Admiral Amoama ticks all the boxes to be appointed CSD, he should be appointed accordingly.

“Fortunately,” as a retired General opined, ” before a CDS is appointed, the nominee General is invited, informed and asked whether he will accept to be appointed to the position.”

Accordingly, the respectful advice to MAJOR- GENERAL OPPONG PEPRAH is that, unless there are patriotic, unavoidable supreme National Security interests to consider, he should respectfully decline, for now, an offer to be promoted and appointed as the next Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces.


A word to a wise GENERAL is in the bossom of the beautiful, lovely, attractive, elegant and wise  Queenmother of DORMAA AHENKRO.

Owula Mangortey 


29th May, 2020

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