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President Akufo – Addo tells Military to rise above partisanship

. President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed the need for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to
remain a neutral instrument of the State, and for its personnel to rise above
partisan considerations in the discharge of their duties.

He made it clear, that for the utmost
functioning of the Armed forces and every other armed service, it was
imperative that the military was apolitical and insulated from contentious
party partisan politics, irrespective of which constitutionally elected
authority was in power.

“We must all be grateful to the Almighty that
there is now a firm and widespread consensus in our country that the military
takes its powers from the elected civilian government …to that end, we must
guard against the politicisation of the military by political parties.

“We do not want NPP soldiers, nor do we want
NDC soldiers…we want Ghanaian soldiers who serve any government duly elected
by the Ghanaian people with equal zeal and loyalty,” he said when he addressed
the officers, men, women and civilian personnel of the GAF at a durbar at the
Burma camp in Accra.

President Akufo-Addo maintained that the
Ghanaian military had an enviable reputation that should be protected at all
times and not tainted with political colouration, adding that the nation needed
men and women who would serve in the security services with loyalty and
dedication, and who would eschew individual interest in maintaining the
cohesion, integrity and security of the nation, as constitutionally demanded of
their commission.

He suggested that military personnel who could
not keep their political opinions private and felt compelled by their
conviction participated actively in politics, to resign their commission before
pursuing that ambition.

“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,” he stressed.

The President gave the assurance that his
government would fulfil all pledges to resource the GAF to make it better and
able to perform its core functions of defending the territorial integrity of
Ghana and other contemporary and emerging security challenges.

He said government would ensure that all the
manpower, training, funding and infrastructural deficits would be addressed in
due course.

President Akufo-Addo further assured personnel
of government’s commitment to improve the housing conditions at the various
garrisons across the country, announcing that the stalled SSNIT housing project
initiated in 2007, would be continued as the Finance Ministry was processing
outstanding debts owed contractors to enable them resume and complete the
project.

Additionally, he said an amount of GHc26
million had been released for the take-off of the barracks regeneration
programme, which would see the construction of new accommodation units for the
ranks of the military.

The President also mentioned the completion of
the Kumasi Military Hospital, and indicated that sod would be cut in August to
commence the construction of a new military hospital in Tamale to cater to the
health needs of personnel of the Northern Command of the GAF.

He used the opportunity to commend the
military for the professionalism and discipline exhibited during the traumatic
and unfortunate death of Major Maxwell Mahama, saying

“The matured manner in which you handled
the situation has won you respect as an institution whose standards are worthy
of emulation.”

“You continue to earn the gratitude and
respect of the nation to whose defence, you have decided to lay down your
lives,” he said, urging them “to keep up the good work to maintain the
stable environment needed for economic growth and development.”

The President assured military personnel, as
well as the civilian staff of the GAF, that an on-going policy review would
hopefully address their conditions of service.

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