The repercussions of what some describe as overly political appointments within Ghana’s military, are surfacing as reports emerge of abuse of power by officer beneficiaries.
A recent incident at the 5 Infantry Battalion, has drawn attention to the issue, where the Commanding Officer, Lt Col Owusu Afriyie, allegedly humiliated subordinate commission officers through an unconventional and degrading punishment.
In this particular incident, Lt Col Owusu Afriyie, purportedly punished the commission officers for being late to an event by forcing them to carry logs in the presence of their subordinates who were seen laughing uncontrollably at the officers.
The act, deemed humiliating and against the established disciplinary norms of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), has raised concerns about the influence of political appointments on the military hierarchy.
The affected commission officers, who hold esteemed positions, reportedly suffered a blow to their self-esteem as a result of the embarrassing public punishment.
Critics argue that such actions not only undermine the dignity of the officers involved, but also erode the professionalism and respect within the military ranks.
It is emphasized that, the GAF has a well-defined scale of punishment for various offences, and the act of “carrying logs” is not recognized as a legitimate form of punishment, especially for serving commissioned officers.
The incident has ignited discussions about the potential abuse of power by military officers who owe their positions to political appointments.
Lt Col Owusu Afriyie’s alleged arrogant demeanour in wielding the powers granted by political masters, is seen as a dangerous precedent that contradicts the principles of discipline and professionalism within the armed forces.
Some observers draw parallels between such incidents and historical events like the June 4th Revolution, underscoring the need for accountability and adherence to established military protocols.
Concerns have been raised about the failure of the GAF’s Defense Intelligence network to detect and address such issues promptly, leading to calls for a thorough investigation into the incident.
As the story unfolds, there is increasing pressure on the military hierarchy currently led by its new Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Major General Thomas Oppong Peprah, to take appropriate action against Lt Col Owusu Afriyie, if the allegations are substantiated, to restore confidence and discipline within the ranks of the GAF.