Accra, Feb. 25, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday called on security personnel, especially the Very Important People Protection Unit (VIPPU), to restrain themselves, be tolerant, wise and have good judgement in their profession. He said: "You are the guards of the State and must never slack in your duties. The entire State of Ghana depends on your alertness; if you give in to stresses then you endanger the State." "Ours is a special calling. Therefore, to stay in service we should be stronger than others and still remain humane to work as a team to strengthen each other," he added.
President Kufuor made the call when speaking at the VIPPU end-of year West African Soldiers Social Activity (WASSA) at the Castle, Osu. He said: "You must try to be each other's keeper and support one another in times of stress. The greatest problem that you must avoid in your line of duty is stress. Whenever any of you is going through a period of stress, do let your superior officers know. They will counsel and support you and if necessary give you some time to rest."
President Kufuor commended the VIPPU for their performance last year and especially during the elections and the protection provided for other VIP's and foreign dignitaries who visited the country. He expressed appreciation about their conduct and how they discharged their duties saying this was in line with the Government's policy of tolerance, respect and humanity. "I encourage you to maintain this exemplary conduct."
President Kufuor said their profession was a selfless duty of sacrifice, which was normally assigned to only very trusted individuals in society. However, it was a memorable life that progresses into honourable retirement, sometimes with medals. He said the Government would, therefore, expect continued loyalty in the performance of their duties and resolve to stay on course and sacrifice for their nation.
President Kufuor said as the nation's frontline security personnel, the VIPPU must command a good image not only by their conduct but also by the level of their physical fitness. He urged them to exercise regularly to keep fit as required of them to discharge their duties with distinction. He said despite the difficulties in the economy and the generally low salary levels, the Government would continue to keep an eye on improving the conditions of service of the security agencies steadily in line with the sacrificial work they were doing.
On the shooting incident at the premises of the Castle on February 15 that led to the death of Lance Corporal Odartey Lamptey of the VIPPU and a woman, President Kufuor expressed sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the VIPPU and close friends of the deceased. Lieutenant-Colonel Emmanuel Akohene Mensah, Presidential Security Coordinator, said stringent measures had been instituted to forestall reoccurrence of the incident. He called on the personnel to have a sober reflection on the challenges ahead and how to improve on their performance with dedication, loyalty and unblemished l'=E9spirit de corps among them. Lt-Col. Mensah said vigorous training programmes would be embarked upon to achieve positive results and assured the Government of a more disciplined, hardworking and loyalty in the performance of their duties.