President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has vowed to build an ultra-modern, state-of-the-art training facility to the Ghana Army.
He told graduates of the Ghana Military Academy at Teshie last week Friday.
The centre, he said, would serve as a world-class standard built to prepare soldiers on how to deal with contemporary threats.
He explained that the new facility would serve as his legacy and be a gift to the military before he finishes his term in office.
President Akufo-Addo assured the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) that they would be provided with the necessary resources to carry out their constitutionally mandated role of, amongst others, protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
According to him, since he assumed power 21 months ago, his government has made efforts to improve upon the logistical and accommodation requirements of the armed forces.
“For example, the government took delivery recently of 50 robust high-occupancy Ankai-A8 buses for the purpose of transporting service personnel across the length and breadth of the country for training and related duties. In 2017, government donated 40 Pick-ups to the military personnel involved in Operation Calm Life,” the President said.
Also, he indicated that government has ordered an additional 135 vehicles, including Nissan Hardbody Pick-ups, Toyota Land cruisers, Toyota Land Cruiser Prados, Toyota Land Cruiser Pick-ups and dispatch motorbikes, to improve the transportation facilities of the troops, with the vehicles set to arrive in Ghana within two months.
“I have also directed the minister for defence to begin the second phase of the project for the asphalting of roads in the barracks,” he added.
With reference to housing, it would be recalled that in June this year, President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the National Barracks Regeneration Project, which has since started in Accra and Tamale, a project, the President said, will be expanded extensively in 2019.
“Next month in November, the Minister for Defence will cut the sod for the construction of the ‘Commander-in-Chief Sports Stadia Programme’ for garrisons in the country, with the first to be built in Tamale.
“It is gratifying to note that funds have already been secured for this project. Funding has also been secured for the construction of a new army headquarters, which will begin before the end of the year,” he added.
He also promised to put up a new Army Headquarters. Funding for that project, he said, was currently being secured.
To the graduating officer cadets, President Akufo-Addo stated that they were joining a profession whose members have not only upheld its image, but also continue to ensure that the territorial integrity of our nation was preserved, thereby making Ghana peaceful and stable.
“In order to execute your onerous obligations, the motto of the Academy, ‘Service, Devotion and Sacrifice,’ must always be your guiding principles. You must bear in mind that the Ghana Armed Forces, over the years, has striven to maintain a healthy relationship with the civilian population, in line with the tenets of national integration and cohesion,” the President said.
He continued, “I am reminding you, today, that your commission into the Armed Forces places great responsibility on you to guard against the temptation of using the uniform to intimidate your civilian counterparts, who are your natural partners in the development of our nation, and whose taxes provide the means for your sustenance as members of the Armed Forces.”
President Akufo-Addo, thus, entreated them “to put into practice the qualities of good leadership instilled in you at the Academy, lead an exemplary life, and ensure that the men under your command also do the same.”
The President also commended all the award winners on the day, especially Senior Under Officer Daniel Opoku Boadu, who was adjudged the Best All Round Officer Cadet of Regular Career Course 58.
The President also promised to alleviate the current drop in new military recruits.
According to globalsecurity.org, there were a reported 15,500 members in Ghana’s military in 2013.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH
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