Accra, July, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Monday urged the security services to work in concert to check conduct and activities that would undermine the nation's peace and democracy during political campaigns and elections.
"As you are aware, this year is an election year and the security challenges are enormous," he reminded them.
"Our security concerns must not be limited to the ability to withstand aggression from outside. The fact that Ghana is an island of peace in a turbulent region should not be taken for granted."
Vice President Mahama said this when he opened the Eighth Security Services (SESSA) Games at the El-Wak Stadium in Accra.
The five-day event, revived last year after a 12-year break, aims at promoting ties of friendship and unity among the Security Services, uplifting the physical and mental well-being of personnel and unearthing talents for national sports.
The Vice President told them to build stronger bonds that would facilitate their efforts at protecting the stability of the nation and preserving the values of society.
"Government is redefining the institutional framework within which our security services operate to promote effective intra and inter-service collaboration and coordination," he pledged. "Equipping our security services, raising their morale and providing training and career development opportunities are major goals of Government."
The Vice President, who fired a gun to symbolise the beginning of the Games, urged the participating teams to use them as platform to build bridges of goodwill and solidarity.
He told the contestants to work hard and set new and challenging standards so that they would excel and be co-opted into various national teams.
Brigadier-General Richardson Baiden, Commissioner of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), which is host the Service, advised the contestants to respect the rules of the game and avoid any acts that would undermine its success.
The Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Prisons Service, Police Service, Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service and CEPS are contesting in volleyball, handball, basketball, table tennis, hockey, soccer and tug of war.
A parade formed by nine officers, 205 men and women and 18 match officials preceded the colourful ceremony that was attended by the Minister of Defence,Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor; Minister of The Interior, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu. Service Commanders and other top officials were also present.
Masquerades from Winneba and a youth group from the Military Academy and Training School entertained the spectators with some splendid dances and gymnastic performances. 05 July 04