President Nana Akufo-Addo yesterday appointed Major General Obed Asamoah Akwa to act as Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS).
It follows the retirement of Air Marshal Michael Samson Oje from the army.
Earlier, the outgoing CDS, Samson Oje, had called on the president at the Flagstaff House to announce the attainment of his retiring age and to bid him farewell.
Introducing the new CDS to journalists at a press briefing at the presidency, President Akufo-Addo, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces said, “I called you here this afternoon because a few moments ago, Air Marshal Samson Oje, the Chief of Defence Staff, came to inform me that he’s reached the retiring age and therefore came to say goodbye to me formally in my capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Army Forces.
“I expressed the gratitude of the nation and the people of Ghana to him for his service to our nation, 42 years in the colours, and wished him well in his retirement.
President Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that “the defence structure is such that there can be no vacuum in command; the Constitution and Article 212 (1)(a) reposes in the President of the Republic the responsibility to appoint the Chief of Defence Staff after consultation with the Council of State.”
In the absence of the Council of State, which is yet to be constituted, the president said he had no option but to appoint someone to act in his [Oje’s] stead as CDS, hence the appointment of Major General Akwa, a former Aide-de-camp (ADC) to former President Kufuor.
Until his appointment, Major General Akwa was the Chief of Army Staff.
Having served several years in the army, Nana Akufo-Addo touted his credentials as a man who has had an exemplary career in the Ghana Armed Forces, with qualifications from the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Teshie, and the Defence Service Staff College of India and extensive international peacekeeping experience in various parts of the world, among others.
He posited with emphasis, “I believe his career and personality make him strongly qualified to act in the top job of the Armed Forces…”
With the elevation of Major General Akwa as CDS – leaving the position of Chief of Army Staff vacant – President Akufo-Addo has settled on Major General William Azure Ayamdo, a man he described as “one of the outstanding soldiers of his generation,” as Chief of Army Staff.
“He’s had a distinguished career serving in several units in the Armed Forces and pursued extensive training in several prestigious military institutions – the Ranger School in the United States, the Junior Staff Course in Gagi, Nigeria, and Artillery training in China; and has undertaken intelligence courses in the United States,” he said of the acting Chief of Army Staff.
Major General Ayamdo once served as the Director General of Defence Intelligence and until his latest appointment, was the Commandant of the Military Academy and Training School and was promoted to the rank of Major General in 2016.
The president, however, decided to retain Air Vice Marshal Maxwell Mantsebi-Tei Nagai and Real Admiral Peter Kofi Faido as Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff respectively.