Former National Security Advisor and two–time Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier General (Retired), Joseph Nunoo Mensah has admitted that he is very rough and tough and people find him uncomfortable to deal with, especially the young ones who consider him a bore.
In a hearty conversation with Nana Ansah Kwao IV on Multi TV, the old soldier says he has been vocal on many issues but people would not listen. He also admitted he has been punished in many ways for being vocal but that doesn’t stop him.
He has no apology for his famous controversial statement: “if the kitchen is too hot, take your passport and get out”. He said, he is prepared to say it again and live by it. He said the statement didn’t cause him any trouble at all, but rather a test of his convictions and how tough he is.
Nunoo Mensah was disappointed that lots of people in society today are lazy and have become crooks, looking for easy ways to make money. He bemoans the level of public sector corruption, citing GYEEDA, National Service Scheme and others, which he considers an indictment on "all of us"- Ghanaians.
As the only surviving member of the “original conspirators” within the Military that overthrew Colonel Acheampong’s Presidency, he explains that, it was a principle that the Military is not to interfere in politics and vice versa.
He further explained that, the Military at that time only intervened to capture power and hand it over to competent hands for governance, and not to stay in power themselves. “We are not trained in the Army to lead a government, we are trained to defend a country, and if you have to intervene for some reason, you shouldn’t stay in power” he emphasised.
He added that the coup through the Supreme Military Council, headed by Lieutenant General Akuffo was necessary to end the rift in the Military. He also admits that, even though Acheampong’s stay in office was short lived, he is credited with many developmental projects in the country, which history is oblivious of.
In his view, Nkrumah is the most humble President the country has ever had and that even though he had lived through every coup d’état in this country, he was never actively involved in any plot to overthrow any government.
The former CDS is disappointed at the level of wastage and corruption in governance and leadership in this country over the period, and doesn’t understand why government officials drive in Land cruiser V8 vehicles while the economy is suffering. “You go to the IMF driving in V8 land cruiser while your cedi is falling and you expect them to have sympathy on you, No!...we are living like Arab Sheikhs”, he said in disgust.
Born to a family of fisher folks at Winneba in the Central Region, he was the first and only one among his siblings to have received formal education. He is a plumber, mechanic, fisherman, electrician, carpenter, farmer and a man of many colours who is very independent-minded with very strong convictions.
He started off as one of the pioneers of the Basil missionary school at Winneba in 1945. From that humble beginning, he enrolled for middle school at Nsaba Presec Boarding school at the age of 13.
He then enrolled at Winneba Secondary school for his secondary education, after which he enlisted in the Military.
He believes he is tough today because of his upbringing, where he lived through bushes and walked for miles bear-foot to fetch water.
The former Security advisor engages very often in philanthropic gestures by building school blocks, dormitories and sponsoring people through school.
These, he says, are based on his convictions and Christian principles. “We must have humanity in us as a people and live for each other” and believes if we want to build a modern state called Ghana, no child should be left behind in education.
He believes that every young man and woman should have a taste of military life because it makes one disciplined.
Brigadier General (Retired), Joseph Nunoo Mensah is passionate about leaving a legacy as someone who came to serve humanity and furthered the course of education for the less privileged in society.
Source: Multi TV
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