27.08.2004 Tabloid News

Cadet Commander collapses

By chronicle
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- But says he's not ashamed

THERE WAS drama at the Aggrey Memorial Secondary School on Monday when the Commanding Officer of the National Cadet, Commander Zaid Opoti Mensah, collapsed while performing his duty. The unexpected event came as a surprise to the over 500 military students who had converged here for a week's training camp.

Opoti Mensah, 22, a former student of Labone Secondary in Accra, believed to have lost stamina, having executed his duty for almost two hours on parade, collapsed in the process.

He was then carried off the parade ground where he was revived.

But the young military student told The Chronicle later that such an incident was predominant in the military service and he was not ashamed of it.

“Such an unexpected event is bound to happen in military training so I do not see anything wrong with that,” he said.

Before, two others had collapsed and were resuscitated, indicating that force work could not be treated with kids' gloves.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Howard, a military attaché from the United Kingdom, was impressed by the dazzling performance put up by the cadets, represented by various schools and institutions in the country.

The military officer, who said he had been connected with the activities of cadets in his home country for many years, advised the military students to have the country at heart, stressing, “ Cadet provides venue for patriotism, sense of service and rudiments of leadership.”

He urged them to embark on networking and enthusiasm as well as valuing any initiatives they might undertake as measures to harness their various talents.

The national cadet was instituted by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) as part of its youth policy of inculcating the spirit of patriotism and commitment to the nation, improving on personal leadership qualities and skills as well as encouraging the youth to be loyal and disciplined.

President Kufuor officiated the opening of the first training camp, which was held at Akim Tafo in the eastern part of the country about two years ago.

The theme for this years' training camp is: “Discipline and patriotism; the role of the student cadet in nation building.”

In a speech read on his behalf, the Central Regional Minister, Mr. Isaac Edumadze called on the youth to refrain from drug abuse and other nefarious acts that might jeopardize the development of the nation since the youth constituted the bulk of the population.

He said the country's future depended solely on the youth who were the future managers.

The Regional Minister advised the youth to desist from the practice of occultism, which was creeping into the social fabric of the Ghanaian society.

The Deputy Minister for Education, Youth and Sports, Mr. Joe Donkor, who inaugurated the ceremony, called on the cadet leadership to intensify the campaign against indiscipline so as to enhance discipline and patriotism among the youth for the socio-economic development of the nation.

To enable the cadets to function effectively, the Deputy Minister said government would provide the necessary resources and urged them to eschew all negative practices.

Osagyefo Dr. Amanfi VII, Paramount Chief of the Asebu Traditional Area, who chaired the function, promised to release a parcel of land at Asebu to be developed as the training camp for the national cadets.

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