National Security Must Be Top Priority for Akufo-Addo

The decision by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to significantly expand and strengthen the reach and the capacity of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) could not have come at a better time. To be certain, it may even be long overdue (See “Gov’t Approves Expansion of Armed Forces to Deal with Security Threats – Akufo-Addo” 8/14/22). We are reliably informed that the rationale for expanding and strengthening the combat capacity and preparedness, as well as the effectiveness, of the GAF is also a step in the right direction, even assuming that Ghana and the ECOWAS Subregion were not under any violent security threats, both internally and externally. The fact of the matter is that both the integrity and the sovereignty of the 16, or so, countries that make up the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been smack on the frontlines of external aggression and perennial external destabilization since time immemorial. That was how the globally infamous Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade came into existence and profoundly altered the lives and identities of a significant percentage, if not the overwhelming majority, of postcolonial Africans.

Of course, the global community has since changed significantly for the better in many remarkable ways; but it also goes without saying that as the most vulnerable geographical region in the world, both economically and strategically, Ghana and the ECOWAS Subregion cannot afford not to healthily grow and expand in ways that stand to ensure our long-term survival and prosperity as bona fide members of an increasingly socioeconomically and culturally organic mega-community. It is also ironic but equally significant to note that about the only other Fourth-Republican Government that seriously took account of the military strength and the security of the country was the John Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). For the most part, the “revolutionary” Chairman Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings-led junta of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), which preceded the administration of the proverbial “Gentle Giant,” had been fixated and obsessed with the stockpiling of small arms and munitions, primarily for the internal control and the total repression of the Ghanaian citizenry and the entrenchment of itself. Which is precisely why today, even as I write, the Ghana Armed Forces is ranked nowhere near the top 10 most formidable military establishments on the African Continent.

This is ironic because on the global diplomatic and political front, even as was recently attested by the newly appointed United States’ Ambassador to Ghana, Ghana is almost without any coequal or rival in the ECOWAS Subregion when it comes to progressive and socio-politically responsible leadership and power-brokering for the peace and stability of the region. Numerically and spatially speaking, of course, Ghana ranks smack among the smallest countries on the African Continent. However, in terms of her role in both global politics and economics, but for the criminally gross mismanagement of the country’s considerable wealth and resources by a civically alienated crop of thoroughgoing corrupt leaders, Ghana would today be an enviable and emulative model of economic development like Singapore, Taiwan and many of the most prosperous Asia-Pacific countries.

We also need to recognize the incontrovertible fact that in Ghana’s Fourth Republic, absolutely no other leader has been faced with greater internal national security threat and risk than President Akufo-Addo, largely to do with the pathologically criminal tendencies of the leadership of the country’s present main political opposition party establishment, namely, the Flt-Lt. Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress. To-date, like the Donald John Trump-led Republican Party right here in the United States of America, the National Democratic Congress continues to pose a great security threat and a palpable danger to the stability and the healthy development of Ghana’s still young and fledgling but robust democratic culture. So, while he has yet to come public with it, the fact still stands that the greatest danger to Ghana’s security may not necessarily be externally oriented. To be certain, we have our own internal network of terrorists who are widely known to be closely associated with the leadership of the National Democratic Congress, as well witnessed in the wake of the kidnapping of the three young, white Canadian women NGO volunteers not very long ago.

Now, what the foregoing observation means is that the entire national security apparatus of the country needs to be revamped and oriented towards a multipurpose objective that can evenly tackle both external and internal attempts to destabilize and derail our hard-won democratic and civilized political culture simultaneously. This is the one area of our national development efforts that President Akufo-Addo is apt to leave the most lasting and far-reaching legacy. Of course, this is clearly aside from the President’s phenomenal achievements in education, health, agriculture, information technology and transportation. The list is almost inexhaustible, to be certain.

Source: Modern Ghana