Fix The Country convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor has taken on the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) over a recent demand that a former officer desists from using his last rank in the service in his civilian life.
The army via a statement this week asked Jamal Tonzua to desist from using his former title in his political communication and instances of his appearances in the media.
Tonzua is currently a lawyer who is vying for the parliamentary slot of Savelugu on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Barker-Vormawor described the military’s position as “Completely ridiculous and targeted,” in a Facebook post dated May 5, 2023.
He went on to ascribe a reason for the military’s move: “This is all because Former Captain Jamal Tonzua has been criticizing the Military’s for its disorganized approach to Operation Vanguard, in his recent media interviews. So they have released this to undermine him.”
He further cited the example of a former captain in the person of famed lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Dartey.
He wrote: “Now, if someone is introduced as a former military officer, does that mean he is using his military rank in civilian life? Is he not a former captain? Or resigning voluntarily means he was never a military officer? Being called Former or ex Captain is not a use of military rank in civilian life
“Besides, who hasnt heard of Captain Retired Nkrabeah Effah Dartey? Even he who was dishonorably discharged, has been using his title in civilian life for years. Like many other officers. Unlike Jamal. But when have you seen the military say anything about them?”
In a press statement, the lawyer in question explained that: “The statement falsely and misguidedly alleges that I have used my military rank in my civilian life.
“Under the circumstances, I am compelled to issue this public statement to deny the uninformed, misguided, and ignorance-laden allegation of the Ghana Armed Forces that I have used my military rank in media appearances.
“I have not, on any occasion, whether public or private, addressed myself or caused myself to be introduced as Captain Jamal Tonzua,” 3news.com quoted the lawyer to have said.
He further expressed his concern about the GAF’s disclosure of private information regarding his period of service, deeming it a flagrant violation of the law that should not be repeated.
He added that his dedication to strengthening the democratic control, accountability, and integrity of the Ghana Armed Forces remains his priority.