A security analyst, Col Festus Aboagye (Rtd), has stated that President Akufo-Addo may appoint a new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) soon.
According to him, the incumbent, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, will leave office in the coming weeks on account of having completed his tenure of office as well as reaching the official age limit.
“Anyone who knows how the system works, knows that one of these days, there will be a change in the office of the CDS. Why? Because the CDS has done the proverbial 3 years and may be, age wise, even more than 63 years or so. And those who are closer to him know that he has made certain statements at certain places, suggesting that his time may be up. So, it is just that one of these days, we can’t be sure whether it is this January, there will be a change,” Col Aboagye said on Accra-based Joy FM on January 4.
His comment was in reaction to a statement issued by the presidency earlier.
In the press release signed by the Director of Communication, Eugene Arhin, the Office of the President refuted claims on social media alleging attempts by the Presidency to orchestrate politically motivated changes within the hierarchy of the Armed Forces, with the sole aim of using the Military to brutalise citizens during the conduct of the December 7 general elections.
According to the seat of government, the social media publication alleged further that a meeting was held at the Presidency on Tuesday, 2nd January 2024, to discuss the so-called politically-motivated changes in the Ghana Armed Forces.
While acknowledging that President Akufo-Addo had a meeting with the heads of the security agencies, the Presidency denied the motivation suggested by the publication.
“Indeed, the President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, held a meeting with Heads of Security agencies at Jubilee House on 2. January 2024, a meeting which has become an annual feature on the President’s calendar at the beginning of the New Year. At these meetings, the Heads of Security agencies call on the President to offer him their best wishes for the coming year, with the President also using the opportunity to express his appreciation to them for their continued commitment to safeguarding the peace and stability of the nation.
Contrary to the allegations made in the publication on social media, no such discussions about changes to the hierarchy of the Armed Forces were held during the meeting,” the press release clarified.
However, the security analyst said those who caused the publication knew about the supposed imminent retirement of Vice Admiral Seth Amoama and the possibility of Chief of Army staff, Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah to take over, hence the speculation.
“The social media publication made an allegation that when the CDS leaves, the Chief of Army staff, because he is closer to the Vice President, in all likelyhood, will become the CDS. It inferred that the purpose will be for the 2024 election,” he explained.
Col Festus Aboagye described the reaction of the presidency to the social media publication as strange.
“I find it a bit unusual for a government of a country to react to things that are circulating on social media. What I am aware of is that if there are social media conversations, the government of the day can use its commentators to use the same platform or to now come to mainstream media to respond to those social media conspiracy theories. To the extent that government has to react officially, to something that has been circulating on social media, not yesterday when this letter dated 2nd January came out. But sometime last year, the rumour mills were running very wild that the changes are going to take place,” he stated.
He alleged that the social media publication could have been orchestrated by the government.
“You could even say that it is part of the conspiracy. That the government itself could be behind the fake news. And turn around to debunk it,“ he asserted.