Soldiers Don’t Plan Coups, Politicians Do

A retired military officer and now MP for Nkoranza North Maj Derek Oduro (Rtd), has cautioned Ghanaians that soldiers on their own are usually not inclined to stage violent changes in government but are spurred on to stage coups by politicians.

Maj Derek Oduro (Rtd), who is also the deputy ranking member on Parliament’s Select Committee on Defence, has therefore called on Ghanaians to critically monitor the actions and utterances of politicians which might incite some hotheaded gun-toting soldier seeking fame to disrupt the nation’s peace.

He gave the caution on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on Tuesday April 16, 2013.

The Nkoranza North MP, who is also a member of Parliament’s Business and Privileges Committees, expressed worry at the dismissive reaction of government and some sections of the media to warnings that events in the country could lead to a coup, saying government should rather pay close attention to such warnings and act accordingly.

National Security officials on Monday questioned Captain Budu Koomson, Chief Operating Officer of the UT Group after an interview he granted to an Accra-based radio station during which he called for vigilance because present economic and social conditions in Ghana could lead to a coup.

Defence Minister Mark Owen Woyongo, in an earlier interview on the show Tuesday, described talk of a possible coup as “wishful thinking”, insisting that no soldier had shown signs of discontent during his tour of the nation’s garrisons and barracks.

The Minister said the morale of the soldiers was so high that no one was thinking of staging a coup, especially after the stability they had enjoyed over the past 25 years as well as the massive infusion of equipment and improvements in their salaries.

“I’ve been going round the garrisons, interacting with them and I’m satisfied there will be no coup, because they themselves admit nobody will benefit from a coup,” he declared.

But while commending the Minister for staying close to his troops, Maj Derek Oduro urged Ghanaians to stay vigilant and check any politician who might seek to exploit the current difficulties facing the nation to incite the military to stage a coup.