Capt. (rtd.) Joel Kwame Sowu

Retired Military officer, Captain (rtd.) Joel Kwame Sowu has questioned the composition and tenure of members of the Council of State in relation to Ghana’s development and security.

According to Captain Sowu, the provision in article 89(2) which allows for the sitting President to appoint members of the Council of State and article 89(5) which ties the tenure of the Council to the term of office of the appointing President, is a major cause of development and security stagnation in the country.

“… if the Council of State is properly constituted, we will not be having these recurring national security threats,” he said.

Speaking on the Prime Morning Show with host, Benjamin Akakpo, Tuesday, Captain (rtd) Sowu described the provisions of article 89 as the crippling agent of National Security in Ghana.

To him, the Council of State, which serves as an advisory body for sitting Presidents, was intended to be like a guardian angel, which will reproach and direct any President when there was a need for it.

Unfortunately, it is becoming a rubber stamp body that is susceptible to control by the President, for parochial interests – just because the President has the right of appointment and dismissal.

In his words, given the caliber of people that make up the Council, it should be possible for their services, if truly intended for good, to be useful for subsequent governments without any need for change.

“If the Council of State is wise enough to counsel previous governments, why the need to change them in subsequent governments,?” he said.

In such a situation, members of the Council will be in a better position to ensure appointment of national security details are not ensnared with partisan folly to compromise the security of the state.

Consequently, a stable advisory body for the Presidency will be in a good position to properly advise sitting governments on approval of suitable persons as heads of national security, to protect the interest of the state.

He called for the Constitution Review Commission report, to be adopted with a change in article 89 of the Constitution, that is, to discontinue the practice of tying the tenure of office of members of the Council of State to that of the appointing President.

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