An ex-soldier of the Ghana Armed Forces, Captain John Kwame Jabari (rtd), has stated that the current nature of Ghana’s Army makes it extremely difficult for the staging of coups.
He explained that the sheer size of the army and how barracks are positioned in the country make overthrowing the Government through a military coup nearly impossible.
He was reacting to the news of military takeovers in some African countries, especially the West African subregion and whether or not a coup could be staged in Ghana.
“Ghana’s military leadership is beyond staging a coup. The way we are trained is beyond that. The way the armed forces are structured is beyond that. It may be absolutely impossible to do it. The way we are trained does not support the idea of a coup…When you look at the sub-region, among the properly trained and educated military, Ghana is part of them. And we have an important structure where we are trained to separate the military from politics, with the military doing their own thing and the politicians doing their own thing” he explained.
He continued: “The way the armed forces are structured. And the way the units are structured and based, it will be very difficult and absolutely impossible to stage a coup. Coupled with our culture and system after going into the 4th Republic, we have moved from the system of coups d’état and made the will of the people reign,” he added.
Captain Jabari emphasized that the siting of various units and military bases in almost all regions of the country further presents complexities for anyone attempting a coup within the military.
“The location of the units is widely spread. So it will be difficult to get every unit to revolt. One of the most important things about coup d’état is secrecy and with the surge of internet and stuff like that, you can easily be caught and found out. Those times the army was small but when you have bigger armies it makes coups very difficult to stage. Currently, almost all the sixteen regions have military bases of a sort or military units. How are you going to get military people to mobilize all those people to take over all those regions? How are you going to move the military into Accra to seize the Jubilee House? That will be cumbersome because the most important thing of secrecy, will be difficult to attain now,” he noted.
His remarks follow a firm assurance from the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, that the military will protect the Constitution and the sovereign will of the people, and not engage in any activity that will threaten the peace and democracy of the country.
“The coups in West Africa are a major concern, but, for us, we are resolved to protecting the Constitution and the will of the people. If the people decide that democracy is the type of governance they want, then we need to respect that.
“Our mandate is to protect the territorial integrity of the State, and we are focused on that. So, when you hear any news of coup, you should be assured that the Ghana Armed Forces is not interested in governance. We believe that if the people don’t want the government, they have a maximum of four years to change it” he said when the team of Ghana Journalist Association team, led by its President, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Accra.