The joint Military/Police Taskforce code-named Operation Vanguard, formed as part the President’s special Initiative to fight the obstinate illegal mining (galamsey) menace in the country, has held separate religious thanksgiving parades across the country, to observe its 100 days of deployment.
The thanksgiving parades were held at its various headquarters co-located at the Forward Operation Bases (FOB) in the Ashanti, Western and Eastern Regions, on Sunday 12th November. The objective was to thank God for the successes so far chalked in the entire operation of the taskforce, the commitment exhibited by the personnel – the command chain and the entire operations of the taskforce. The Ashanti Region event held at Wawasi in Obuasi and was jointly officiated by the Reverend Lieutenant C.B Agyepong, Chaplain of the Church of Pentecost and Imam Sheik Nkansah, both from 4 Garrison in Kumasi.
In his homily, Rev. Lt Agyepong asked the Taskforce to maintain a positive attitude and remain resolute and resilient to be able to sail through the inevitable and daunting challenges that thy might encounter.
“The entire personnel had been specially chosen as a reliable and capable force to help stop the unbridled degradation and indiscriminate exploitation of the land, I believe you would rise up to the task to battle the menace,” he added.
Sheik Nkansah for his part charged the taskforce to eschew wrong doing and avoid any untoward behaviour that might affect their reputation in the communities.
Colonel William Agyemang, the Commander of Operation Vanguard Taskforce, said, God had seen personnel through a lot of trials and encouraged troops to rely more on God in all their endeavours.
The Obuasi Methodist Church Brigade band, was on hand to provide music.
At the Eastern Region FOB in New Abirem, the officiating clergy, Rev. Father Major Francis Agyemang and Imam Abdalla Adam from the Armed Forces Recruit Training Centre at Shai Hills, charged the troops to serve as ambassadors of the nation and act as liaison between the government and the communities in the fight against galamsey.
Also at the Western Region FOB at Abosso, the Church Parade was superintended by the clergy from Western Naval Command, Anglican Chaplain for the 2 Infantry Battalion, namely, Reverend Annan Forson and Sheik Saeed Mohammed Misbah.
Rev Forson declared that the operation of the taskforce would be successful because God had a hand in their task.