Accra, May 18, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday said the Government's re-election had afforded the administration, the chance to consolidate and improve on all gains made during its first tenure of office.
He said in addition it afforded Government the chance to introduce new measures that would accelerate the pace of national development. President Kufuor made the observation when addressing a durbar of Officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) at Burma Camp in Accra. He acknowledged the professionalism that characterised the work and conduct of the security agencies throughout the first term of the Government particularly their contribution to the peace and stability that had become Ghana's hallmark internationally.
"Your vigilance no doubt contributed to the success of the December Elections. I congratulate all of you for your distinguished service and loyal support", he said.
President Kufuor said: "As the nation forges ahead, the continued support and loyalty of all ranks of the military will become more and more needed."
He said the Government would, therefore, continue to provide most of the needed administrative and logistic support as required at any given time to enable them to function effectively and efficiently.
President Kufuor said the improved and admirable level of cooperation and cordiality between personnel of the Armed Forces and their Police Service counterparts was expected to continue during the second tenure of office.
He said it had enhanced the success rate of the joint Military-Police patrols and had ensured the peace, security and stability in the country.
President Kufuor commended the security personnel for their excellent performance in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations that had brought citizens in conflict areas reasonable levels of peace and stability.
He said: "You have achieved much with little" because the Government was aware that most of the peacekeeping missions had been plagued by equipment shortfalls.
President Kufuor said steps were being taken to address the nagging problem to enable them to maintain the nation's high standing in peacekeeping at all times.
He said continued education on the sides of both the civilians and the Military would be pursued to ensure mutual respect and trust between civil society and the Military.
On problems within the Military, President Kufuor said the Government was securing about 105 billion cedis to be released this year toward funding for retirement.
"This will enable the staff that have been waiting patiently to go on retirement, to be sent off appropriately", he said.
He said all uncompleted living accommodation projects would be tackled for more recruitment to address the manpower shortfalls; prompt attention was also being given to the procurement of new and modern equipment to enhance job performance as well as continue to review their salaries and allowances.
President Kufuor said infrastructure development in all garrisons such as roads; sewerage plants and water delivery systems would receive attention.
Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Minister of Defence, said the visit was a good morale booster not only to the security personnel but the civilian employees as well.
Lieutenant-General Seth K. Obeng, Chief of Defence Staff, appealed to the Government to endeavour to fulfil its promise to improve on the low equipment levels, conditions of service and infrastructure development to enhance the Military's core responsibility to Ghanaians. He said efforts should be made to deliver their rations on time and in the appropriate quantities since the security personnel had tried to support the country's young democracy for peace and stability.
"We shall not fail the nation and Constitution but support the country's young democracy", he said.