Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Friday commissioned 114 officer cadets of the Special Medical Intake Four, into the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and urged the personnel to go out and serve with humility, integrity and respect for authority.
The Vice-President, who also reviewed a parade mounted by the officer cadets, advised them to be symbols of service, devotion and sacrifice during their entire career.
Addressing the graduation ceremony at the Ghana Military Academy and Training School at Teshie in Accra, Dr Bawumia said: “We are optimistic that you will exhibit the high sense of discipline and loyality instilled in you, beyond your training, so that others would emulate you.
“Your predecessors have paved the way with high standards which you are under obligation to maintain and improve upon,” he urged.
Dr Bawumia again reminded the officers of the objective for their training, which he said, was aimed at enhancing their professional competence in the tradition of military discipline and noted that the training had a direct bearing on the government’s agenda for improving the health needs of the people.
“Your contribution to the health needs of the troops, their dependents and the general public must be seen as a service to the state. Our health needs are as important to our survival as our safety and security needs and so we cannot afford to compromise on the health needs of our citizens,” the Vice-President stressed.
To that end, he said, the government intended to employ about 17,000 health professionals this year across the country.
The government, the Vice-President added, had also cleared a substantial part of the debt and arrears that were choking the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), thereby reviving the scheme to better serve the health needs of the people.
“I am informed that the Military High Command is making effort to enrol all service personnel, civilians, as well as entitled dependants on the scheme, in order to improve health delivery at the various health facilities,” he said and commended the officers for availing themselves to serve the country in the noble capacity of the military medical corps and expressed the hope that the training had aligned their professional orientation with patriotic service to the state.
On security, the Vice-President stated that the government was committed to equipping the GAF with the necessary logistics support and training, particularly so in the midst of security threats, such as illegal arms trafficking and terrorism, to boost its operational efficiency to meet emerging challenges.
That, he said, was because the complex dimension of global security, where non-state actors had become major players, called for a comprehensive reappraisal of the country’s strategy.
Dr Bawumia said the peace and security of the state had been maintained through the professional posture of the GAF and its earnest collaboration with other security services and, therefore, stressed the need for continuous promotion of a synergy between the Armed Forces and other state actors.
“One could not underestimate the importance of civil society to state security and national development. The complementary roles of individuals, organisations and government would promote the safety and well-being of our people. Let us all remain vigilant in our respective communities and promptly report suspicious acts to the appropriate security agencies for remedial action,” the Vice-President advised.
He said the NPP government would continue to ensure that the country developed in a safe and secure environment. “We owe this to ourselves and most importantly to the future generations. It should never be the case that this country degenerates into anarchy as we see in other parts of the world,” Dr Bawumia said.
He also assured the Military High Command of the government’s determination to address the acute accommodation challenge facing the GAF and said work had started on the barracks regeneration projects and the momentum would be maintained to ensure that all service personnel and their families were well accommodated.
“On a day like this, it is customary to give credit to those whose actions have supported the noble cause of this institution, the President would like to acknowledge the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Despite Group of Companies, Dr Osei Kwame Despite, for building an ultra-modern child onchology and psysiotherapy unit for the 37 Military Hospital.” the Vice-President said.
He also thanked others, including the Commandant of the Military Academy and Training School, the staff, as well as the Commander of the Ghana Military Academy and his officers and men for their great support which resulted in the construction of the Ghana Military Academy infirmary and for the excellent work they are doing.
Cadet Sergeant Alexander Solomon Essuman was adjudged the Overall Best Cadet, while Junior Under Officer, Lovren Lanteka, received the award for the Best Female Officer Cadet.