Previous Chiefs of the Defence Staff and Service Chiefs were pulled out of the military without anybody knowing their party affiliations. Not so with Vice Admiral Matthew Quashie, whose as it were valedictory speech during his pullout activity and the accompanying speech exposed his party preference rather obscenely – something unusual of military officers of his rank and caliber.
It was a speech lacking in the kind of finesse which such orations should spot, more so from someone who understands the importance of camouflage and concealment and its application in everyday life and above all, diplomacy.
Military officers with passed staff college labels are diplomats in their own right and are expected therefore to be mindful about their language and general conduct.
His speech was deficient of the decency and diplomacy Generals should exhibit, especially since officers are gentlemen.
He appears to be longing to join the ranks of dirty politicians: when the punches start coming therefore as those in the gutters of local politics experience often, he should not be surprised.
Hear him: “The recent spate of internal wrangling with attendant killings in political parties does not augur well for the country.
“If within their own party they can do that, how about if it is another party? They should learn to control themselves. They should learn to jaw-jaw instead of war-war.”
Without his name being attached to the above, we could have bet they were uttered by the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC’s) General Secretary, Asiedu Nketia.
For an outgoing Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) to speak the way he did on a subject which is the preserve of politicians, we are amazed as are many other Ghanaians.
At first we thought it was a mix-up of sorts from the reporter who covered the event. It has become clear, however, that he actually said what was attributed to him and we must say we are disappointed in a man we used to think was a gentleman.
Seeking favours from the president perhaps so he can be considered for a diplomatic service assignment does not require him to debase himself to this level.
If we may ask him, which political party was he referring to in the innuendo-like remarks which we doubt very much has won the heart of the president who these days is so busy that such oratory pranks hardly attract him.
If he loves his country so much that he can withstand the consequences thereof, he could have rather expressed umbrage over the open thievery of the public purse and the rooftop corruption in the country.
Internal wrangling within parties is not his business to discuss or even give unnecessary admonitions on. Indeed, if he did not have anything to say at that stage of the activity, he should have just shut up and prayed and hoped for a successful transition to a civilian life.
What a way to end a military career spanning close to four decades!