A former Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Lt Gen. J.B. Danquah (retd), has called for a second look to be taken at what has become a convention in the country where new governments replace service commanders on assumption of power.
He explained that the practice tended to politicise the military and undermine its professionalism.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, Lt Gen. Danquah said, “unless a new government has reason to doubt the loyalty of a service commander or the person has misconducted himself or herself in a way, that person must be allowed to complete his tenure”.
The retired General noted that in Ghana and other parts of Africa, a lot of commanders had gone home prematurely when new governments came into office.
“This does not happen in advanced countries and as a result, commanders in those countries are bold to take decisions that help their governments and country,” he said.
He cautioned against the introduction of tribal and political sentiments into the military, saying it had the tendency to polarise the military.
“The practice that someone does not come from here or there and therefore, must not be appointed to a certain position must be discarded,” he stressed.
That notwithstanding, the former CDS emphasised the need for commanders to be bold in their duties and not allow anybody to use them to further their own interests and aspirations.
“We should be able to resign if politicians want to use us for their parochial political interests. That will make us stand out,” he added.
He called for hard work from Ghanaians to improve their lot rather than always look up to the government to address all their problems.
“We should not think that the government descended from Heaven to solve all our problems for us,” the retired general said.
Lt Gen. Danquah said today, many workers were thinking about increased salaries. “We have to work hard to get what we want”.
He called on the media to play a leading role in shaping the democratic process.
Lt Gen. Danquah also called on the government to widen the tax net to bring in many small businesses that did not pay taxes.