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Ghana’s Ban on Former Army Generals Generates Controversy


A ban placed on seven former Ghanaian army generals from entering any military installations in the country after they met with former President Jerry Rawlings is generating intense debate. Some security experts say the move by the National Security Council to slap a total ban on the former army generals could be misleading as it could be misconstrued that they were planning to stage a coup de'tat. But President John Kufuor's government denies the assertion, saying the measure was taken in the interest of national security ahead of this year's general elections.

The security agency also reminded Ghanaians that a similar ban imposed on former President Jerry John Rawlings from entering any military installation in the country is still in force. Kofi Adams is the spokesman for Ghana's Ex-President Rawlings. From the capital, Accra he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the government is afraid of its own shadow.

"This is an absurdity of the highest order because I really do not see the cause for taking such a serious action against these generals who are out there to try to restore the integrity of the process of the elections. If the government is not guilty, and if the government is not desperate and afraid to face the genuine election come December seven without fraud and violent, I don't think they would have taking the kind of decision that they took," Adams pointed out.

He said the decision to ban well-meaning former army generals is regrettable.

"These generals are out there with noble intentions to add their expertise to the process of securing the campaigning process and also on the day of the election. And one of them has even gone ahead to have a meeting with the minister of interior, and so for the national security to take this knee-jerk reaction, it becomes worse when they base their decision on a newspaper publication. So, what it tells me is that the national security has no intelligence unit, and that is very bad for the country's security," he said.

Adams sharply denied the former president wants to destabilize the country by organizing a coup de'tat.

"If he (Ex-President Rawlings) was planning to destabilize the country, I don't think this is the way he would go about it. But let me say that Jerry Rawlings is the former president of this republic's commitment to the sanctity of the right of choice cannot be questioned. In 1992, in 1996 and in 2000 he supervised genuine elections, one of which resulted into Ghana's first transfer of power from a democratically elected government to another," Adams noted.

He said Ghanaians are not interested in coup de'tats and but want to reject the ruling party in this year's general elections.

"This government with how it has ruled the country now, everybody wants to reject it. Nobody would give it (government) a leeway by going to topple it through a coup de'tat, not at all. It (coup de'tat) is no longer fashionable. They came in through the thumb and they will surely go out by the thumb," he said.

Adams described the move to ban the former army generals from entering any military installations in the country with immediate effect as an attempt to cause anarchy.

"It is a recipe for chaos because these generals that you have banned from entering military installations is not the way to secure this country. What they have rather done is to expose to Ghanaians that the security set up is up to something sinister, because if one of the reasons for which they took that action was that the former president had talked about commanders not obeying unlawful orders, by their (government) action they are suggesting that commanders should obey unlawful orders. So, the government is up to give unlawful orders against its political opponents. So, genuine minds and strong minds who are coming up to suggest otherwise must be dealt with by saying that oh don't go to military installations," Adams pointed out.

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