|President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo|
He said government would provide the needed resources to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and other security agencies to operate effectively in order to safeguard lives and property.
He said it was through mutual trust, integration of efforts and close union of all stakeholders that would ensure a safer place for all.
President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance in a speech read on his behalf by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at the Annual West African Security Services Activity (WASSA) of the GAF at the Burma Camp in Accra.
The ceremony provides a platform for the men and women in uniform to fraternise after a year-long service and strategise the way forward for the coming year. President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the support of the donor partners, which had sponsored various projects of the Armed Forces to enhance its infrastructural development.
He said the government would continue to improve the economy to sustain the momentum of growth.
“We’re making efforts to upgrade your capabilities to cope with the challenges of the time,” he assured.
President Akufo-Addo said while the economy was improving, there was the need to enhance the security of the nation, adding that national security must move in tandem with economic growth.
The President commended the soldiers for their admirable professional posture and loyalty for maintaining peace and harmony in the socio-economic development of the nation.
President Akufo-Addo said the way to the realisation of the fortunes of the world may be daunting, however, with the structures put in place to combat the factors that stood in the way of peace and progress, there would be success at the end of the day.
He acknowledged the efforts of GAF for its community assistance programmes and safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country’s borders as well as ensuring rapid response to natural disasters.
“I sincerely appreciate your efforts at keeping your values and traditions in the discharge of your constitutional duties.
“The government and people of Ghana continue to applaud and cherish sacrifices that the Ghana Armed Forces made to contain armed robbery and other violent crimes through joint patrols with the Ghana Police Service.
“Internationally, you continue to win laurels for this country through your sterling performance in peace support operations in Dr Congo, South Sudan, Mali, Gambia and other countries and the Government and people of Ghana are very grateful to you for your gallantry and commitment to the performance of your roles in these international theatres,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo applauded the GAF for its involvement in protecting the environment through Operation Vanguard, which had made a number of arrest and seized ammunitions and firearms used by the illegal miners since its inauguration on July 31, 2017.
He said the Armed Forces could achieve more laurels when given the needed resources and, therefore, gave the assurance that, the government would support in that regard.
President Akufo-Addo commended the military for their patience and tolerance at the unfortunate murder of Major Maxwell Mahama, noting that, the justice system would take its due course.
He said government and other civil society organisations had embarked on nationwide sensitisation campaign on the need to stop mob justice and upon the advice of the National Security, Operation Calm Life was re-launched in late last year, charged with the additional mandate of combating the activities of violent land guards.
The President said government had provided the personnel with 200 Pick-up vehicles for their operations and assured that, it would provide additional vehicles and other logistics to ensure the safety of the citizens.
President Akufo-Addo said the activities of illegal miners, otherwise known as “galamsey”, and nomadic herdsmen in some parts of the country had become a grave concern to the government and assured that, government would continue to support “Operation Vanguard” and “Operation Cow Leg” to flush out illegal miners and nomadic herdsmen.
President Akufo-Addo empathised with the families of the two police officers who were killed by some nomadic herds in Agogo in the Asante Akyim District of the Ashanti Region and wished the five soldiers who sustained various degrees of injuries a speedy recovery.
“The recent successes registered by the personnel of Operation Cow Leg for confining herds of cattle to areas isolated for farming communities in and around Agogo and Droboso in the Ashanti Region amply demonstrates that, with proper management, the herdsmen and their cattle can be confined to a system of ranching that will not interfere with farming activities,” he observed.
He entreated those engaging in unlawful activities to stop and venture into profitable ventures.
“Those criminal groups involved in environmental activities that posed security threat to our country, I wish to advise that, opportunities exist in the economy to channel their energies into more productive and rewarding enterprises that will earn them a decent livelihood,” he advised.
The President said it was important to keep the country together and avoid divisive tendencies that promoted acrimony and should focus on the road to development to ensure improvement in the standard of living of the people.
The soldiers were entertained by popular Highlife Musician, Nana Ampadu, and Gospel Musician, Superintendent Kofi Sarpong, who gave rendition of their songs, with some men and women in uniform taking to the dancing floor.
The GAF rewarded four soldiers who excelled in an essay competition, which focused on pressing national issues such as environmental cleanliness, sanitation, Free Senior High School Policy, among others.
The ceremony attracted high profile personalities, including the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, Service Commanders and senior military officers, as well as retired military officers, the diplomatic community and the civilian population.