Defence Minister Fights Mahama Over Land
The Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, has attacked former President Mahama for occupying a land belonging to the Ghana Armed Forces.
At a press briefing in Accra yesterday, he said the airport residence housing the former president is supposed to be a natural boundary of the Armed Forces, and further advised that he vacates the land.
“Beginning from Burma camp you will see the new road. The road that leads to Teshie Nungua. That was supposed to be the natural boundary of the Ghana Armed Forces and the civilians because the armed forces has a lot of explosives and I thought that would have been the perfect place. The way that land was handled, I am not happy about it. We have squeezed the armed forces at Burma camp”, he bemoaned.
According to him, the previous government within two years sold lands belonging to the Ghana Armed Forces.
He disclosed that top politicians who were supposed to have covered the armed forces wrote to the armed forces to release the lands to the owners if they have no money, not knowing they were buying the lands themselves.
Dominic Nitiwul further accused the former Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces for paving way for his cabinet to encroach lands belonging to the Ministry.
“We will use due process to recover or reclaim where applicable all lands originally vested in the Ministry of Defence or earmarked for use by the Ghana Armed Forces and the Veterans Administration”, he stressed.
In other to protect the remaining lands of the Armed Forces, he said efforts are underway to fence them.
According to him, Gh¢5million was allocated to the Ghana Armed Forces in the 2017 budget to commence the fencing of the lands.
He further stated that the Ministry is making efforts to acquire lands for strategic use; especially for training and operational purposes.
Dominic Nitiwul revealed that the Kumasi Shoe Factory which is responsible for manufacturing shoes for the army, is owned by a private individual.
He said the Armed Forces only has 40% shares in the factory, and stressed that the contract will be reviewed by his Ministry.
“Armed forces has no control over the factory. They just named it Armed Forces country for Ghanaians to believe it belongs to us but it is not true”, he disclosed.
Retooling the Armed Forces
The Defence Minister called for the need to retool the Armed Forces to be adequately prepared to counter emerging threats both globally and in the sub-region.
According to him, the dynamic in global threats and the ever-increasing role of non-state actors in conflicts situations require dedicated officers to live up to expectation.
“So far our troops have demonstrated the resilience, mental stamina and robustness and the preparedness to deal with any of such threats”, he stressed.
By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum/ thePublisher