President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reinforced the need for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to remain a neutral instrument of the State.
He said it was in the interest of the entire Ghanaian citizenry that the armed forces retained its neutrality and professionalism as guaranteed under the constitution of the country.
Addressing a durbar of officers, men and women of the GAF on Friday at Burma Camp in Accra, the President challenged personnel of the military to rise above partisan considerations in the discharge of their duties.
He reminded them that governments had term limits, and tying the well-being of the Armed forces to the fortunes of the ruling government of the day was not good for the health of the nation.
“We must ensure that the Ghana Armed Forces is left to focus on its core mandate and not be an appendage of the ruling party.
“I envisage an armed force that goes about its duty of protecting ordinary citizens confident that there would be no interference by the powers that be,” he stated.
However, he suggested that military personnel who wished to engage in politics should resign their commission before pursuing that ambition, as stated in the rules and regulations of the GAF and the Constitution.
“If any of you would wish to engage in politics, partisan politics, the rules are clear cut; you have to leave the service honourably and carry on with your ambition.
The President was emphatic that the cohesion and esprit de Corps of the military ought to remain intact for the benefit of the current and future generations.
Ghanaians, he stated, wanted a professional armed force that was disciplined, well motivated and respectful of the rights and liberties of the people, saying, “we should work together to achieve this goal.”
The President further asked the media to refrain from attaching political motives to the professional decisions of the military.
“You should be circumspect in your reportage on the military and desist from attributing political motives to matters that are purely professional,” he said.
The President had earlier commissioned newly-acquired mutli-purpose vehicles for the GAF.
The vehicles included; 50 high occupancy busses, 40 hardbody trucks, and 50 Toyota pick-up trucks. The vehicles form part of government’s effort to retool the Armed forces to enable it discharge its mandate efficiently and effectively.
The President also commissioned the reconstructed Command Mess of the GAF.
The President assured of his government’s commitment to resource the GAF to make it better able to perform its core functions of defending the territorial integrity of Ghana and other contemporary and emerging security challenges.
He said government would ensure that all the manpower, training funding and infrastructural deficits would be addressed in due course.