Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, the outgone Chief of Defense Staff, has advised soldiers to be professional and shun tendencies that will bring the name of the Forces into disrepute.
“For the military to be relevant, officers must remain grounded in professionalism and set good examples at all times in discharging their constitutional duties”, he said.
Lt. Gen. Retired (Rtd). Akwa gave the advice on Friday in Accra at a colorful farewell parade and a pull-out ceremony held for him to transfer his authority to Real Admiral Seth Amoama, the Acting Chief of Defence Staff.
He called for a paradigm shift in the operations of the Forces, stressing that the threat dynamics of the country was changing on daily basis, calling for new ways of doing things in a competitive world.
“Traditionally, our role is to defend the territorial integrity of the country. We have tried to do that to the best of our ability, however, we are having adversaries within who threaten the peace, unity and stability of the nation more than ever before.”
Lt. Gen. Rtd. Akwa said that trend necessitated the increase deployment of soldiers to deal with internal security challenges to ensure stability in the country.
He urged the personnel to keep pace with the ever changing global technological environment, stressing that “the frontiers of the future will be frontiers of knowledge”.
He commended government for the support throughout his tenure of office -vehicular transport for both operational and welfare purposes, barracks regeneration projects across all the garrisons, transformation of the Ghana Military Academy into a Centre of Excellence and forward operation base at strategic locations across the country.
LT. Gen. Rtd. Akwa thanked President Akufo-Addo for giving him the opportunity to serve in the high office, and grateful to his predecessors for wise counsel.
He inspected a well-rehearsed guard of honour with a spirited display by the Forces band.
Lt. Gen. Rtd. Akwa was presented with kente, television sets and other gifts for his selfless contribution to the forces.
Present at the ceremony were; Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister designate for Defence, retired officers and representatives of other security agencies.
Lt. Gen. Rtd. was enlisted into the Ghana Military Academy in 1975 with Regular Intake 18 and continued with his basic officer training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
He was commissioned into the Ghana Armed Forces as an infantry officer in Ghana Army in March 1977.
The General is an infantry officer, airborne qualified and holds ‘Passed Staff College’ qualifications from the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, and the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India.
In addition, he has the following academic qualifications: MSc (Global Security) from the Cranfield University, UK and MSc (Defence and Strategic Studies) from the Madras University, India.
He has extensive international peacekeeping experience having served in UN Peacekeeping Missions in the Sinai Desert (1977); South Lebanon (I985); Iraq/Kuwait (1991); the former Yugoslavia (1992); Cambodia (1993) and as a Brigade Commander with the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2012.
He was once the Aide-de-Camp to the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor.
Other key appointments held were; the Commander, Ghana Military Academy; the Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre; the Chief of the Army Staff from July 2016 to February 2017 and as the Chief of the Defence Staff, since February 2017.
He holds a National Award as a Member of the Order of the Volta, Security Services Division (M V).
Lt. Gen. Rtd. Akwa is married to Mrs Dorothy Akwa, and has four children and four grandchildren.