Soldiers happy with ‘allowa’ increment

The immediate past Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshall Samson Oje, has revealed that the decision by President Akufo-Addo to review upwards the allowances paid to soldiers on the United Nations peacekeeping duties, has boosted their morale.

“From the few directives you’ve given so far, I can see a bright light in the Ghana Armed Forces. The issue about the peacekeeping allowances has been solved within a short time, and it has boosted the morale of the service personnel,” he remarked

The CDS made this known at a meeting with the President to bid him farewell, as he retires from the military. He thanked the people of Ghana for giving him the chance to serve for the past 42 years.  President Akufo-Addo, on behalf of Ghanaians, thanked the former army chief for his contribution towards the security of the nation.

“We are very grateful to you for what you have done for the country, and I know that you are available. Yes, going into retirement doesn’t mean you are no longer available for service. I know how you feel for your country, and I know that you will come to offer your service,” the President noted

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Meanwhile, the President has also appointed Major General Obed Akwa as the Acting Chief of Defence Staff, pending consultation from the Council of State.

The President, knowing the career and personality of Major General Obed Akwa, said he was qualified for the task ahead. Maj. Gen. Akwa, who was the Chief of Army Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, is expected to be confirmed when a new Council of State is constituted.

Until his appointment as Chief of Army Staff on July 1, 2016, Maj. Gen. Akwa was the Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).

Major General Akwa enlisted into the Ghana Military Academy in October 1975. He was commissioned into the Ghana Army as a Second Lieutenant in March 1977, with extensive experience in Global Security, Defence and Strategic Studies.

He also has an excellent understanding of the theory and practice of international peace support operations. He served as the Western Brigade Commander/Ghanaian Contingent Commander with the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Congo (MONUSCO).

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Major General Akwa had his basic military training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, United Kingdom, from 1976-1977. He has academic qualifications in Global Security (MSc) from Cranfield University, England, 2003; Defence and Strategic Studies (MSc) from Madras University, India, 1977; and Public Administration (Certificate) from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Accra, Ghana, 1989.

The Commandant of the Military Academy and Training School, Major General William Azure Ayamdo, has been appointed acting Chief of Army Staff.

By Maxwell Ofori, Jubilee House Accra