The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) yesterday questioned a soldier of the army, Private Osei Owusu of the Ghana Military Police for posting a picture of him taking a kalyppo drink, which has been widely circulated on social media.
The GAF said it was an affront to the Armed Force Regulatory Act 1962 for any personnel to post a picture in military uniform on social without authority.
Colonel Aggrey Quarshie, Director of Public Relations Department of GAF told the Ghanaian Times yesterday that such pictures undermined the integrity of the Armed Forces, since they had been perceived to be associated with a political party in the country.
He said Private Osei Owusu’s conduct could undermine his security, because those circulated pictures on social media regarding kalyppo were assumed to be associated with one of the contesting political parties in the country.
Col. Quarshie said “It’s against GAF regulations for military personnel to take pictures of themselves in uniform and post it on social media. So Owusu was called for questioning for breaching the code and conducts of GAF”.
He stated that military personnel needed clearance from authority before they could post such pictures in military uniform on social media.
Col. Quarshie disputed claims circulating that Private Osei Owusu had been put in the guard room, saying that he was only cautioned.
“This is young personnel who has committed a first time offence so he cannot be put behind guards. The only thing we can do is to caution him”, he said.
A picture of Private Owusu dressed in military police outfit clutching the Kalyppo drink circulated on social media, barely three days after a picture of the flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo sipping the fruit juice went viral on the same platform.
Attacks by political opponents on the NPP leader’s picture led to one of the biggest challenge in terms of response on social media.
Nana Akufo-Addo was accused of sipping a drink made for children.
That triggered a sharp response from supporters and functionaries of the NPP who inundated social media with their pictures while taking the drink in what has become the “Kalyselfie” challenge.
Some social commentators were worried that Private Owusu would be victimised considering the nature of Ghanaian politics.
Others however argued that he would not be punished because he did not breached GAF rules and regulations.
By Bernard Benghan