“I Won’t Touch Your Single Spine, I Won’t Turn You Into Farmers"….. Akufo-Addo Assures Military
Nana Akufo-Addo, the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, has assured members of Ghana’s security services that he will not turn them into farmers, neither will he touch their single spine arrangements to fund the free Senior High School programme as propagandists of the ruling National Democratic Congress would want them to believe, when he becomes President.
Addressing security personnel and members of the general public on Thursday, the NPP Presidential Candidate clearly reiterated his long held position that “I have indicated clearly where the funds for that will come from – largely our oil revenues”, and will not touch single-spine arrangements that were initiated by the NPP government of President J.A Kufuor.
Nana Addo explained that the malicious propaganda against the NPP being anti-military probably stems from the period of fighting against military rule, with the NPP fllagbearer stating that during periods of military rule, the separation of roles between the security services and the government of the day invariably gets blurred.
“It is important to make the point forcefully at the onset that fighting for democratic rule and campaigning against military rule cannot be equated to being anti-military,” Nana Addo said.
He continued, “I was in the forefront of that struggle and I am certainly not anti-military, despite all the efforts to portray me as such. I have no plans to turn our soldiers into farmers,” Nana Addo stressed.
According to Nana Addo, in 2001, when the NPP came to office, the JA Kufuor-led government saw it as a duty to ensure that the security services were provided with the necessary environment to enable them discharge their constitutional duties.
He stated that under the Kufuor government, the Ghana Armed Forces saw a much greater improvement than there had been previously, citing physical conditions like accommodation for service personnel, the provision of proper equipment, the training and the preparedness of personnel to carry out their operations.
The NPP flagbearer also made mention of the approval of a new pension scheme for the Ghana Armed and massive infrastructural development..
“A modern Ministry of Defence Headquarters was built, Burma Hall was upgraded into a state-of-the-art auditorium and numerous buildings like Beijing Barracks in Burma Camp were put up all around the country to accommodate servicemen. The 37 Military Hospital was upgraded and refurbished,” Nana Addo said to loud applause from the audience.
Nana Akufo-Addo bemoaned the current situation where soldiers occupying military quarters are charged a monthly rent of 5% on their consolidated pay, and yet the monies accruing from this deduction are never used to maintain or improve the state of accommodation.
“The next NPP government will ensure that such monies are used for the purpose for which they are intended,” Nana Addo said.
Dwelling on the Police, Nana Addo also outlined significant improvement in the supply of logistics, equipment, and support from the NPP government, for the police service. Funding activities of the Ghana Police Service, according to Nana Addo, increased substantially under the NPP Administration.
“This was made possible by NPP innovative programs that attracted additional bilateral support from countries that had traditionally not supported activities of our Police Service. Countries as diverse as France, Spain, India, Nigeria, South Africa for the first time ever provided significant logistical, financial and technical support to the Ghana Police Services”, Nana Addo added.