General News of Saturday, 1 July 2017
President Akufo-Addo has raised serious concerns about a issue that most Ghanaians, especially politicians, seem to be shying away from the politicization of the various security agencies.
This time round his focus was on the officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
It has often been said that most officers and men of the various security agencies in the country are divided on political lines and mostly allow themselves to be used by politicians, especially the government of the day, to perpetrate all sorts of wrongdoing against their (politicians’) opponents.
Speaking at a durbar at Burma Camp in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “an important ingredient of the military in a democracy is to ensure that it is insulated from partisan politics.”
He therefore charged, “It is imperative that our Armed Forces function as it was set up to do.”
To that end, he said, “We must guard against the politicization of the military by political parties.
“We do not want NPP soldiers nor do we want NDC soldiers.”
President Akufo-Addo, who is the Commander in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, underscored, “We want Ghanaian soldiers, who will serve any government duly elected by the Ghanaian people with equal zeal and loyalty.” He welcomed any individual or group of persons in the Armed Forces, who may want to go into the game of politics, asserting, “Those amongst you who want to do politics are very welcome; but please remember, first to take off your uniforms and lay down your state-issued arms.”
Later, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the construction of a four-storey 16-room accommodation for the Armed Forces at the Burma Camp, which is part of the estimated GH¢26 million barracks regeneration project.
He decried the fact that there are critical funding deficits in almost all the Armed Forces undertakings, but stressed his government’s determination to address these shortfalls to boost their operations.
“The funding, training and equipping of our special forces must be urgently improved to enable us to deal with the ever present threat of terrorism; our maritime boundaries, again as a matter of urgency, must be better protected…” he emphasized.
The president posited, “A general upgrade of the Ghana Armed Forces in terms of equipment, personnel and medical facilities has to be undertaken urgently to provide the nation with the capacity to meet modern threats.” Assurance
As Commander in-chief, he promised to see to it that these things are done, admitting that “our country is beset with key issues of human and environmental security that if not addressed would threaten our very existence as a people.”
In that regard, he charged, “The Armed Forces must therefore be well-resourced and trained to support the civil authorities to contain these contemporary threats. “My government will ensure that you have the resources to match your commitments and will stand by the commitments made to you in our manifesto, so that you are adequately equipped to enable you perform your duties well.”