We bring you to our readers, excerpts of the speech of the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Fifth Battalion of Infantry (5Bn) – Lieutenant Colonel Seth Odei, which he delivered at the Battalio
n’s 2019 West African Soldiers Social Activities (WASSA).
By Kofi Ampeah-Woode
Overview of 2019
My battalion has been very busy, considering the fact that we are responsible for Greater Accra, for internal security operations. It means that you have to do more because everyone is expecting us to make sure Accra is calm.
Looking at the general situation now, although we are not saying it is perfect, but we will continue to support the Police to achieve the calm we expect. The year has not ended yet, so for the few days that are ahead, we are not relaxing, but will continue to ensure that we give all the necessary support to the Police to ensure peace.
In terms of development, I as a person, am just one of the COs to come and add up to those who have come before me, and have done their best, and I have come to continue, however, there are few areas I need to polish up, to support what they did.
Those who built the buildings, they put up these structures years back. Some are old and we need to do some repairs. So we have managed to expand our armoury, rehabilitated the Junior Ranks’ Mess, constructed a place for operation Calm Life and unit standby, there were some issues with sanitation, and we have done our best to make sure that the troops have some respite, although it is not hundred percent corrected.
Realignment and Reconstruction
We had to realign some parts and let others also get a place to function, so we got the Provost office, put the market people to be in a good place for all, but realized that there were too many drinking spots in the barracks, which influenced the soldiers negatively, so we had to close them down.
However, that action also brought the need to repair the Junior Ranks’ Mess and also the Lions’ Mess – they are all functioning now, to ensure that personnel do not get worried when the drinking spots were closed down, and this action has brought some discipline into the unit.
2020 Security Challenges
Entering into an election year, the assurance we offer to all in Greater Accra is that, as we have taken the past year to this level, we hope that 2020 would be far better because we will intensify our operations with the police.
We are identifying the hotspots, to start working at those areas which create problems so that areas which are identified with criminals, will be checked, I suppose we all remember what happened when there was the national crackdown on suspected criminal hideouts recently – the unit was involved at Buduburam, Adenta and lots of other places.
We also have been taking the battle to the “landguards” in these newly developing areas, because they could be recruiting grounds for criminals, thus, although we have not achieved perfection, with the onset of year 2020, we want to make sure that those targeted areas, where criminals hide and their work is rampant, are brought down early enough, so that getting closer to the heated electioneering campaigns, we have less troubles to deal with.
Goodwill to All Lions
It is rather unfortunate that we could not have the full complement of our troops to celebrate with us this 2019 WASSA, but their families are here, and we made sure they had a feel that they have not been left out, so as you could see, we had a stand for children, the wives were fully involved.
We want to assure them that although they are out there, they are also serving Mother Ghana, so we will do our best to ensure that their families do not miss them too much, and also we wish them well wherever they are, in all the Mission areas.
Some are also in Ghana but in other internal operations; let them know that the unit is solidly behind them and that they are doing a good job, for we have not had any disciplinary issues with any of our troops outside and in the country. We wish them well, and a prosperous new year to them. Lions