The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says an important ingredient in a functioning military in a democracy is to ensure that the military is insulated from partisan politics.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “we must all be grateful to the Almighty that there is now a firm and widespread consensus in our country that the military takes its powers from the elected civilian government.”
It is for this reason, the President stressed, that all Ghanaians must guard against the politicization of the military by political parties.
“To borrow a term from a famous British Prime Minister, the greasy pole of politics has no place and should not have any place in the military. We do not want NPP soldiers, nor do we want NDC soldiers. We want Ghanaian soldiers, who will serve any government, duly elected by the Ghanaian people, with equal zeal and loyalty,” he added.
To those in the military who want to do politics, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “you are very welcome, but please remember first to take off your uniforms and lay down your state-issued arms.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known when he held his maiden durbar, as Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, with officers and other ranks of the Armed Forces.
Touching on the current realities of everyday life and the role of technology, he noted that it is a salutary lesson that all public officials are learning that there are not many private spaces in the world these days.
“The ubiquitous smart phone means that your every word and your every action is likely to be recorded for broadcast. Members of the military would do well also to remember this,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo also urged the hierarchy of the military to review constantly some of the practices that used to define the military.
“What would have passed for and been acceptable as rough language and punishment is intolerable in today’s world, and should be discarded, no matter how attractive it might have been in a bygone era.
The reality of social media must always be kept in mind and ways to adapt found, rather than hark to the old days when the affairs of the barracks were kept strictly in the barracks,” he added.