PROFESSOR Stephen Addae, a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, last Tuesday paid glowing tribute to the contribution of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President to the modernization of the Military, saying, he laid a solid foundation for the quality and professionalism of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Speaking at the Academy's annual lecture in the Humanities, 2007, Prof. Addae said Dr. Nkrumah was instrumental in providing adequate training and equipment for the armed forces than all past governments combined.
“First, Nkrumah wanted nothing but the best for his country. This attitude and determination cut across all his endeavours. He wanted the best for the boys and girls in the military at the time and went all lengths to achieve just that,” the author on Ghana's Military history emphasized.
Prof. Addae, who spoke on the topic: “Military Technology, the Nkrumah Government and Ghana Armed Forces,” said Nkrumah's drive was fostered by the desire of an armed force that could handle internal security effectively and efficiently.
According to Prof. Addae, Dr. Nkrumah did not only acquire military hardware, but also ensure the adequate training of the young officers.
This culminated in the establishment of the Air Force in 1959 and the Navy in 1962 in addition to the Ghana Regiment, which was the only one in existence at the time.
President Nkrumah also built an effective reconnaissance unit and got young Ghanaians to be trained in the best military institutions in Britain as officers.
Consequently, he established the Ghana Military Academy for meeting the training needs of the Ghanaian officers and his time produced the first female pilot.
According to him, before his overthrow in 1966, Dr Nkrumah left an effective and efficient armed forces as well as concrete plans for the future development of the Military such as the construction of a modern airbase at Tamale, the Arms factory at Tema, among others.
These laudable projects were however, Prof Addae, said reversed by the National Liberation Government that took over after the coup.
Prof Addae said, though Nkrumah was interested in equipping the army, he steered away from offensive weapons as much as possible but had armoured tanks to ward off trouble makers.
He emphasised that the various efforts made by Dr Nkrumah had produced quality military personnel, as modern as any in the world.
Dr Addae suggested to the military to take their leadership role in the affairs of the country through beefing up such institutions as the Engineer Corps to make contributions to the development of the country.