Private legal practitioner, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah, has expressed worries over the Ghana Armed Forces’ (GAF) growing appetite to be “materialistic,” and said it is dangerous for the nation.
He argued that the allegations against the GAF on the sale of army lands and the Service’s intention of setting up a bank are all indicate that the Ghana Army is gradually abandoning its core mandate and has become very commercial.
“Not long ago, the Army said they wanted to establish a bank…what business do they have in getting into banking? They are getting so materialistic and if the Army is getting materialistic, then they are going to abandon their security business” he said.
He stressed that, “when you become so interested in money, you neglect your core mandate. They are abandoning their core mandate and their core mandate is to provide security for the state.”
A group of retired army officers have accused the leadership of the Military of selling lands and properties belonging to the Service and threatened to use all means at their disposal to stop private developments taking place on those properties.
But the GAF in a statement on Friday described the allegations as “false and half-truths” and insisted that no lands or any other properties have been sold to private individuals.
The GAF’s Acting Director of Public Relations, Lieutenant Colonel E. Aggrey-Quarshie in an interview on Eyewitness News explained that the army has rather entered into a Public Private Partnership with private developers to maximize the Force’s 10 acre land at Airport in Accra.
But according to Lawyer Baffour Awuah, “the maximization of resources does not mean that sell army resources, it doesn’t mean that get the army involved in commerce.”
He stated that the statement which was issued by the Armed Forces in response to the accusations was “very ridiculous” because per the terms of agreement which was explained, the land has been sold.
“We have 10 acres land, I’m giving you five acres to build a property for me but instead of giving you money for the land, I am giving you land. So it’s barter more or less and that is a sale – it is not a Public Private Partnership. They are just using words. It’s a sale,” he argued.
He recommended that they ought to be adequately resourced, trained and made financially sound to enable them focus on their core mandate.
Lawyer Baffour Awuah recalled that one of the “excuses” ex-President John Rawlings gave for the coup “was that the army had become so commercial and so corrupt.”
He warned that the moment materialism and commerce is introduced, corruption sets in and must therefore be checked.