By Kofi Ampeah-Woode
The Government of Ghana has redeemed a pledge made to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) as it presented fifty (50) EICHER high-occupancy buses and added a number of other vehicles to the military pool of transport, to facilitate their core mandate of ensuring national security.
In addition to the 50 Eicher German-made high-occupancy buses (which arrived in the country in November of 2018), the state also has ordered 138 vehicles, such as 26 motorbikes, 9 Toyota Landcruiser V8 vehicles, 20 Landcruiser Hardtops, 30 patrol vehicles, 50 Hardbody Pickups, 22 Toyota Landcruiser Prados and 7 Toyota Avalons.
The President and Commander-In-Chief (C-In-C) of GAF, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, commissioning the use of the vehicles at Burma Camp, Accra, indicated that the vehicles are to help cater for the logistical needs of GAF.
The C-In-C, at the October 2018 graduation of the Ghana Military Academy, reemphasized a similar promise made to GAF by the Defence Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla – Dominic Nitiwul – at the November 2017 GAF “LAND COMBAT AND POWER DEMONSTRATION” at the Bundase Training Camp, as the former and latter both promised 50 high-occupancy buses to help ease the movement stress of the military.
The C-In-C also used his visit to the military stronghold, to commission a single-storey Command Mess complex, a project started by the previous administration but completed under the current leadership of the military high command.
Additionally, at a special durbar with their C-In-C at the Burma Hall, where soldiers had direct opportunity to voice out their concerns and suggestions, the C-In-C, aided by Ministers of government, addressed concerns raised by the rank and file.
The President commended GAF for their loyalty, commitment and dedication to the cause of Ghana, during the painful murder of one of its officers – Major Mahama, which case is under trial at the Law Courts, and assured that the law will surely deal with those who are found culpable of that crime.
A topical issue that has inspired a lot of murmurings in recent times amongst soldiers is the Menzgold brouhaha, where it is alleged that a lot of monies from soldiers had been stashed there as investments – thus the shutdown of that company was a cause of concern for many.
In an answer to a question by a soldier who wanted to know what government plans to do for concerned soldiers, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning – Ken Ofori-Atta – who was asked by the C-In-C to address the issue, reiterated that government will not intervene financially in paying deprived investors.
The Minister, however, said that two hundred million Ghana Cedis (200Million GHS) worth of assets had been identified and processes are being initiated to disburse for victims of the transactions.
Minister for Defence – Dominic Nitiwul, assured that government will continue to provide modern equipment to help her defend and maintain the territorial integrity of Ghana and expressed the hope that the vehicles presented and those yet to come, would help greatly in internal peace support operations.
Nitiwul also said that the first tranche of buses will replace the troop-carrying vehicles that the troops have been using for welfare duties and that henceforth, military men and their families can comfortably sit in air-conditioned high-occupancy buses to functions.