Chief of Defence Staff – Maj. Gen. Obed Boamah Akwa
A few minutes ago, Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Michael Samson Oje came to inform me that he had reached the retirement age, and came to say goodbye to me formally in my capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.
I extended the gratitude of the people of Ghana to him for his service to our nation – 42 years in the colours – and wished him well in his retirement.
The defence structure is such that there can be no vacuum in command. The Constitution, in Article 212 (1)(a), reposes in the President of the Republic the responsibility of appointing the Chief of Defence Staff, after consultation with the Council of State.
The Council of State is yet to be constituted. As you know, the processes for its constitution are on. Pending its constitution, I have decided to appoint someone to act as Chief of Defence Staff.
That person is the current Chief of Army Staff, for many of us aka Army Commander, in the person of Maj. Gen. Obed Boamah Akwa.
An infantry officer, a graduate of the Military Academy at Teshie and of Sandhurst, he has had an exemplary career in the Ghana Armed Forces, having obtained his qualifications from the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College and the Defence Services Staff College of Ghana.
He had had extensive international peacekeeping experience in various parts of the world and was Brigade Commander of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012. He has been Commandant of the Ghana Military Academy, Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, and since early 2016, Chief of Army Staff.
He was also Aide-de-Camp to my former boss, President John Agyekum Kufuor. That was when I got to know him well.
I believe that his career and personality make him strongly qualified to act in the top job of the Armed Forces – Chief of Defence Staff – and it is my pleasure to appoint him to act as such pending the constitutionally required consultation with the Council of State.
Army Commander – Maj. Gen. William Azure Ayamdo
Nature abhorring a vacuum, with the elevation of Maj. Gen. Akwa to the position of CDS, there is the need to appoint his replacement.
Again, the Constitution imposes that responsibility on the President of the Republic in Article 212(1)(b) – appointment of Service Chiefs.
Again, pending the constitutionally required consultation with the Council of State, I have decided to appoint someone to act in the capacity of Chief of Army Staff. I have settled on one of the outstanding soldiers of his generation.
After a brief period of training at Teshie, he graduated from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
He has had a distinguished career serving in several units of the Armed Forces, and has pursued extensive training in several prestigious military institutions – the Ranger School in the USA, the Junior Staff course in Jaji, Nigeria, and artillery training in China, and has undertaken intelligence courses in the USA.
He has been Director General of the Defence Intelligence and currently he is the Commandant of the Military Academy and Training School (MATS). He was promoted to the rank of Major General in July 2016.
He is an expert in counter-terrorism measures, and, indeed, is a fellow in counter-terrorism of the National Defence University, in Washington DC, and a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies, London.
He has had vast experience in international peace support operations in Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It is my pleasure to appoint this distinguished soldier to act in the position of Army Commander, Chief of Army Staff, pending the consultation with the Council of State.