General News of Friday, 8 September 2006
..Remain alert to the duty of protecting the nation's integrity
President John Agyekum Kufuor today called on the Military not to let its guards down especially at the time when the country was on the verge of breaking into a higher level of development; adding it should remain more alert to its duty and under no circumstance allow itself to be compromised into betraying the nation.
President Kufuor was addressing the graduation parade and Commissioning of 87 Cadet Officers, two of whom, were from Burkina Faso, at the Military Academy and Training School (MATS) at Teshie in Accra after 23 months training. Among them were six females.
Thirty-three of the Officers underwent the Regular Career Course, lasting for 84 weeks while 54 took the 32-weeks Short Service Commission/Special Duties course.
He said that the country's economy was now registering sustained and remarkable growth and had become resilient and capable of withstanding the crushing crude oil prices on the world market, adding that Ghana was currently, ranked by the World Bank to be among the first 10 out of 110 nations as a preferred place to do business.
The country's democratic governance has also become the toast of the continent of Africa. "These major successes have been achieved through collective hard work and sacrifices of the citizenry. The political, traditional, military and religious authorities, as well as civil societies must, therefore, see it as a collective duty to safeguard them."
The Government, he said, was resolved to remain focused and committed to serving the entire nation to the best of its abilities.
President Kufuor said with vigilance, Ghanaians should celebrate the impending landmark of the Golden Jubilee of Independence within the prevailing atmosphere of peace, security and growing prosperity.
He unveiled a package of measures lined up to help to enhance the stock and condition of the equipment of the Military to enable it to play its role of protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the nation more effectively. He said a number of aircraft were being acquired for the Air Force adding that the training of its officers was going to be updated.
Additional vessels would also be provided to augment the fleet of the Navy. In the meantime, the Naval Slipway in Sekondi is to be rehabilitated to help to refurbish its ships locally at reduced cost and generate income by servicing other ships.
Further, the Government was securing a 20 million dollar concessionary facility for comprehensive accommodation for soldiers.
President Kufuor advised the Graduands to live up to high standards of professionalism and personal conduct in order to preserve the exceptional high image and prestige of the Ghana Armed Forces within the country and outside.
"Without compromising your military responsibilities, you should be guided by a spirit of humility, fellow-feeling and compassion. This is how to build a peaceful and prosperous Ghana."
Senior Under Officer Patrick Peprah Obuobi was adjudged the best all round Officer Cadet in the regular career course and was presented with the Sword of Honour.