Defence Minister directs construction of Wall around Military Lands

The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul has expressed concern over the encroachment of lands belonging to the Ghana Military Academy Training School (MATS) in Accra.

He described the development  as real ‘theft’, arguing that squatters cannot make about-turn to claim ownership of a land they are occupying illegally and consequently directed that walls be constructed around the land to ward off the intruders.

“We are talking of about 200 acres of land, with human beings now living on. If you want to clear the squatters where would they go? That is why I said we are going to build a wall around the lands, so that they will see the need to sit down and talk with the officers to know the way forward,” he remarked.

The Minister gave the directive when he paid a working visit to the Burma Camp on Wednesday.

Mr Nitiwul who was led to inspect the lands of the school by Military Officers was told that about 200 acres of lands belonging to the Training School had been encroached upon by some squatters. A presentation which preceded the inspection outlined challenges of the school which included the encroachment resulting in lack of training grounds amongst others.

From the MATS, the minister and his entourage went to the Army Headquarters, where he met the Chief of Army Staff behind closed doors.  He also went to the Hall of Generals, a hall dedicated to the former Chiefs of Army Staff. It had pictures of all the former Chief of Army Staff. Ghana has had 23 Chief of Army Staff from 1961 to 2017. Prior to 1961, the whites were holding that position.

The visit took the Minister, who was accompanied by his deputy, Major  Derek Oduro (RTD), and the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt Gen Obed Akwa, to the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College where the team was briefed about their work and challenges.

Minister Nitiwul ended his visit at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre where he inspected work on the construction of a six storey academic block.

Officers at the Centre appealed to the government, through the Minister help the Centre complete the facility.

The Minister and his entourage went to the Air force and Naval headquarters respectively to get first-hand information about the operations.

Speaking to journalists after the visit, the Minister was saddened by the challenges facing the Military.

Ranging from issues of funds through to accommodation, the Minister was hopeful the visit had given him an in depth information about the challenges.

He assured that government would do its best to address some of the challenges if not all.

Source: Maxwell Ofori || The Chroncle

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