By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Michel Camp, Tema
The Command of One Battalion of Infantry (1BN) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), has successfully changed over once again, after close to four years of dedicated, disciplined and thoughtful leadership provided by Colonel Albert Sison Ogaja.
The handing/taking over parade took place on Thursday, the 16th of May, 2019, at the 1BN Square, Michel Camp Tema when Colonel Ogaja handed over to the new Commanding Officer (CO) Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Simeone B Nyante, with the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Southern Command (S/Comd) – Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Abraham Yeboah Nsiah, as the Guest of Honour.
Presenting an over of the stewardship of Col Ogaja, who was in office for 3 years, 8 months and 5 days, GOC Bri Gen Nsiah enumerated a few landmark initiatives such as the construction of new accommodation units (Agbawu Block), construction of a 6 unit officers’ accommodation (under construction), establishment of a Sachet Water Factory for internal Income Generation and an Ultramodern Barbering Shop, the Welfare Fund and the well-being of troops and their families receiving a great deal of attention.
General Nsiah commended Col Ogaja highly and urged him to feel proud, stating that he had chalked enviable success and that when the history of the First battalion is written, his contribution would be cast in letters of gold, as he assumes a new responsibility as Director, Accommodation at General Head Quarters (GHQ), Logistics, having been promoted to the rank of Colonel.
Turning to the incoming CO, Gen Nsiah described Lt Col Nyante as a fine gentleman by all standards and a capable officer and admonished all the battalion to avail the utmost support to him for him to succeed, in everyone’s own small way, since he cannot do it all alone and cannot be everywhere by himself at the same time.
The GOC advised Col Nyante to err on the side of leniency, particularly for first time offenders and to “note that harsh punishments do not prevent crimes but good policies do, therefore, be human centered in your handling of the troops”.
In his farewell speech, Col Ogaja expressed appreciation to in the Battalion as being part of the success during his tour of duty as CO, and quoted Bertrand De Jouvenel who said “command is a mountaintop. The air breathed there is different, and the perspectives seen there are different, from those of the valley of obedience”.
“No one can ask for a better opportunity than the command of a battalion where the convergence of reality and idealism is better appreciated as it underscores every command decision. The experience has been huge and there is no other way I could have acquired that. My international exposure on UN PSO as CO, UNMISS GHANBATT 6 was particularly fulfilling and together as a unit, we had many accomplishments, both home and abroad, as the cohesion of the unit grew within the period”, he concluded.
Dignitaries present at the pulling out parade, amongst many were; the Eastern Regional Minister and Member of Parliament of Nkawkaw – Eric Kwakye Darfour, the Municipal Chief Executive of Kpone Katamanso, the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command – Commodore James Kontoh, many Senior Officers, officers, Senior Warrant Officers, men and women of GAF, Magajiahs and school children from the Education Unit of One Garrison.