On 3rd November 2020, Americans went to the polls to elect a new president. The people’s verdict gave Joe Bident the mandate to rule as the 46th President of the United States of America. The sitting president, Donald J. Trump, is crying foul. Remember, he is the Commander in Chief of the United States Army; and yet the army did not step in to undermine the people’s verdict.
What happened in the United States of America should serve as a lesson for the High Command of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Ghanaians will go to the polls on 7th December to elect a president and members of parliament. It is therefore imperative that those in authority in the West African country today should avoid the temptation of using the military to harass their own citizens in the name of maintaining law and order during the election.
That brings the military high command into the picture.
Since its inception in 1957, the Ghana Armed Forces has distinguished itself as a disciplined force gaining the respect of the international community. The current crop of the Military High Command should advise the government against the misuse of the men and women under them for political purposes. No armed force operates in a vacuum; there are Rules of Engagement governing operations carried out by soldiers.
Soldiers are not and have never been election officials. Soldiers are not trained to be performing the role of the police; soldiers are trained to FIGHT external enemies and NOT civilians in their own countries. Unfortunately, this is what the current crop of the Ghana Army High Command have allowed themselves to be manipulated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his desperate attempt at clinging on to power.
When you allow yourselves to be manipulated by politicians to misuse the men and women under your command, you reduce them to humiliation, ridicule, and disrespect.
How would the Ghana Armed Forces High Command define the Rules of Engagement of the personnel of the forces under them on deployment to polling stations? Will they remain neutral? Will they behave like members of the TOTON MACOUTTE on behalf of a political entity?
TONTON MACOUTTE was a notorious brutal militia formed by President Francois Duvalier of Haiti active from 1961 to 1986.