Vice President John Mahama has reiterated Government’s resolve to address problems besetting the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and called on the military, however, to make do with resources available to them in view of the competing demands from other sectors of the economy.
“Government appreciates the difficult environment in which the military and other security services have to operate in, and we are committed to addressing these problems so that the armed forces can discharge their constitutional duties effectively”, he said at the Golden Jubilee Ball and Awards Night of the Ghana Military Academy (GMA) in Accra at the weekend.
“Men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces, I will be the first to admit that the ongoing injection of resources into the military may not be enough to transform the service into the ideal force that the military high command may wish to lead.
“However, under the present circumstances we count on your resourcefulness and innovation to manage with whatever resources are at your disposal”, Vice President Mahama said.
The spectacular event, forming part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the GMA, was attended by the military high command, alumni of that institution, government functionaries, Parliamentarians, and a cross section of people from other security agencies and the civil stream.
The GMA has over this period trained over 3000 military officers, with a significant number of them coming from other African countries, some of whom have excelled not only in their military carriers but in governance in their respective countries.
Both Senior and junior military officers who attended the occasion were resplendent in their flamboyant ceremonial evening garb, evoking admiration from invitees at the event.
Vice President Mahama, who is also the Chairman of the Armed Forces Council, said the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the GMA “should inspire us to achieve our vision for the military”, whilst taking stock of past performance to plan and improve upon future strategies.
“As you celebrate 50 years of a long struggle to establishing yourself as a strong institution for training of tomorrow’s military leads, you need to focus on ways to maintain and even improve upon your present enviable records of excellence and discipline”.
He called on Commanders at all levels to instill discipline, nurture loyalty and uphold integrity at all times to serve as a model for the ordinary soldier to emulate because “we live in a politically fragile region and an academy such as this, that is dedicated to building and developing professional personnel to maintain peace in the sub-region and beyond should be held in high esteem”.
Vice President Mahama also tasked the Alumni of the institution to identify challenges militating against the growth of the academy in order to map out strategies to make the GMA more relevant to changing circumstances and times.
“I am sure that with concerted efforts, it would be possible to keep abreast with the rest of the world in search for global peace and stability”, he said.
Several retired officers who have distinguished themselves in politics, industry, commerce, Academia and social work were honored.
They included Lieutenant General Emmanuel Eskine, the first Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Lt. Gen. Seth Obeng, a former Chief of Defence Staff and one time Deputy Force Commander of the UNIFIL and Maj. Gen. Henry Anyidoho, a former Army Commander of the GAF.
Others included, captain Jerome Antonio, a professor of Aeronautics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Major George Agyemang Sarpong, Director of the Ghana Law School, Capt Prince Kofi Amoabeng, Chief Executive Officer of the Unique Trust Bank, Squadron Leaders Aryelley Essel Ampah and Melody Danquah, pioneier female pilots of the Ghana Air Force.
Lt. Col. Samuel Ashiagbor (rtd) and Ex Warrant Officer Class One Kodzo Gakpledzi were also honoured for their contribution to the development of the GMA.