General News of Sunday, 19 February 2017
The outgoing Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshall, Samson-Oje, was yesterday officially pulled out of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to mark the end of his official duties as CDS.
The colourful ceremony also saw the new CDS, Major General Obed Akwa taking over from Air Marshall Samson-Oje.
Major General Akwa was the Chief of Army Staff and had also served as the Commandant of the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre before his elevation to the high office in the GAF.
Air Marshall Samson-Oje said after 41 years of military service, and having been blessed to attain the pinnacle of the military profession, it was now time to bid farewell to the GAF.
According to him, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.”
“I owe a debt of gratitude to all my instructors, commanders and mentors who guided me in the teething years of my military career. And as a CDS, I must put on record that I have enjoyed awesome support from all and sundry for which reason I am thankful to all of you, especially my personal staff who have been phenomenal in supporting me,” he stated.
The outgoing CDS also expressed his appreciation to the GAF, service chiefs and heads of other Security agencies in the country for their support which enabled him to have a successful tenure of office.
He also expressed gratitude to the President and Commander In Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, and the Minister of Defence for the speed and alacrity with which they provided funds that enabled the command to address outstanding peacekeeping allowances of troops.
“Human beings as we are, we cannot but tread on each other’s toes once in a while as we journey through life. Please pardon me for my actions, inaction and decisions that may have impacted negatively on any of you,” he said.
Air Marshall Samson-Oje urged officers and men to extend the same loyalty and support to his successor, Major General O.B. Akwa “who has been a colleague for quite a long time”.
“I have no doubt that he will excel and continue to lift the image of the GAF. I wish him good luck and God’s guidance during his tenure of office.”
Quoting General Douglas Mac Arthur, he said, “Old soldiers never die, they fade away, and like the old soldier that I am, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him light to see.”