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Akufo-Addo: We’re investing to secure our borders against terrorist threats

“We can’t be complacent and take that for granted,” the President said. We all need to recognize that if we lose focus on the terrorist issue, the best means to ensure that our nation remains at peace would be undermined. This will prevent us from tackling the problems of development and eliminating poverty, which are our fundamental concerns.

At the beginning of his working tour to the Upper West Region on August 22, 2022, President Akufo-Addo indicated in an interview with Radio Upper West that the government is taking “extraordinary steps, measures that have not been taken before” to secure the nation’s borders.

“We created 3 forward operating bases in the Upper West Region alone, in the Jirapa, Hamile and in Tumu. There is a strong possibility that Gwolu and Wechiau, at some stage, will also be brought on board,” he added. The President noted that the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, being undertaken by National Security has caught the imagination of people.

Without the support of the general population, it is impossible to deal with security challenges, whether they come from terrorists or saboteurs. Let me reiterate: those who are to blame for the uproar are internal; they must be a part of the community. They are not from Mars. Therefore, the best form of intelligence becomes the conduit for you to be able to act decisively if those within the community are sufficiently aware of their presence and the threats they bring, President Akufo-Addo continued.

Military Restructuring

The Armed Forces recruited and trained about three thousand (3,000) personnel between 2017 and 2020 in terms of manpower expansion. To increase the size of our Armed Forces to ideal levels, it has started an aggressive nationwide recruitment and training program in 2021 that will produce at least 4,000 officers and soldiers yearly until 2024.

Thus, every six months, a minimum of two thousand (2,000) recruits are taught in recruit training schools across the three (3) Services, but since 2020, the number of officer cadets enlisted has increased dramatically.

Measures have been put in place to advance restructuring and retooling as part of efforts to improve the Armed Forces’ operational capability, combat effectiveness, and logistical capacity.

With the purchase of necessary equipment, the Akufo-Addo government has established more bases, specialized units, and brigades to improve operations, notably along Ghana’s northern boundaries. The Army Special Operations Brigade, Armoured Brigade, Signal Brigade, and two (2) Mechanized Battalions, which are stationed in the Upper West and Upper East Regions, have already been formed and established as a result of this development.

The construction and equipping of fifteen (15) Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) across our northern frontiers for the Armed Forces for the Northern Border Project are also ongoing. These FOBs include FOB Dollar Power, FOB Hamile, FOB Tumu, FOB Navrongo, FOBBawku, FOB Nalerigu, FOB Bunkpurugu, FOB Saboba, FOB Bimbilla, FOB Damongo, FOB Bole, FOB Jirapa, Forward Logistics Base at Wa, Forward Logistics Base at Bolgatanga and Main Logistics Base at Tamale.

A number of combat vehicles, equipment and weaponry, comprising about one hundred and sixty three (163) Armoured Personnel Carriers and other combat vehicles, trucks and general vehicles, surveillance and communication equipment, including optical and critical mass of night vision equipment, as well as weapons, ammunitions and body armour, have been acquired to enhance intelligence acquisition, offer better protection, improve mobility and fire power for troops on internal security operations, including those deployed to the northern frontiers.

Government also continues to equip the Navy with Offshore Patrol Vessels and Fast Patrol Boats to enhance counter piracy and other maritime threat operations, and protect our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Towards enhancing the capability of the Navy, President Akufo-Addo recently commissioned four (4) fast patrol boats, named VOLTA, PRA, ANKOBRA and DENSU, to protect our maritime resources, especially our offshore Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facilities.

The Akufo-Addo government also has plans to purchase various aircraft, including six (6) L-39 Ground Fighter Aircraft, two (2) additional Ground Power Units, Casa C2A5 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Mi-71SH Military Airlift Helicopters, VIP Transport Helicopters (H-225), and four (4) H-125 Reconnaissance Light Attack helicopters, to support the Special Forces’ operations.

The President continued, “All these investments are being made to ensure that the Armed Forces are well-equipped and motivated to carry out their primary mandate of safeguarding the peace, integrity, and security of the country and maintaining Ghana’s contribution to international peace and security.”

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