The newly appointed Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, has sent a word of caution to criminals that operate on and around the sea because his administration is coming seriously after them.
He has promised to work hard to ensure that seafarers and anybody who operates around that environment do so safely and in peace.
He said the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) will ensure that the country’s territorial waters are free from all criminal activities so that seafarers will feel safe to conduct business without fear in order to expand the blue economy.
“I want to sound a note of caution to the criminals out there on the sea. We have heard you loud and clear, you will hear from us soon. Ghanaian waters will no longer be an easy prey for you, we will hunt you down and destroy you,” he said.
He gave the warning on Friday, February 12, 2021, during the handing over ceremony at the Navy Headquarters at Burma Camp in Accra. Rear Admiral Yakubu is taking over from Rear Admiral Seth Amoama.
The incoming Chief of Naval Staff, noted among others that his predecessors have laid a solid foundation with their transformational agenda which has seen great improvement in infrastructure, particularly in the Naval Training Command.
He assured that during his tenure, the long-awaited Offshore Patrol Vessel project and the Offshore Security Vessels for the protection of oil and gas infrastructure at sea would come to fruition.
“All my energy would be directed towards these projects and I entreat my staff to double their efforts to support the government to fulfil its intention,” the new Chief of Naval Staff said.
Profile of Outing chief of Naval Staff
Rear Admiral Amoama was enlisted into the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in 1981 and had his initial training at the Ghana Military Academy.
He was sent to the Pakistan Naval Academy on August 1, 1982 to continue with his training and was commissioned into the Executive Branch of the Ghana Navy in December 1984.
He won the Sword of Honour on graduation in Pakistan.
Rear Admiral Amoama has held several appointments at various stages of his career in the GAF, both afloat and ashore.
His peacekeeping experience include serving as the UN Military Observer in Rwanda (1995-1996), the UN Liaison Officer in Lebanon (1997-1998) and the UN Staff Officer in Sierra Leone (2001-2002).
In his farewell speech, the outgoing Chief of Naval Staff commended the sailors for their smart turnout and for putting up a wonderful naval display at his farewell parade.
He recounted that two years ago when he took over as the CNS, the overwhelming euphoria that greeted his appointment was an indication of a huge expectation towards his assumption of office.
Although he recognised that there was not an immediate solution to every challenge and that some of the challenges of the navy required time and space, he had expressed the hope of living up to expectations because of his belief in professionalism, loyalty and the commitment of the entire naval fraternity.
“Today, we can look back with pride at what we have achieved together. By dint of hard work and our collective determination, we have been able to complete most of the major projects that I inherited from my predecessor and new ones started with majority of them completed,” he said.
Rear Admiral Amoama said in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected the objectives and aspirations of the navy, it was able to deliver many projects, including the inauguration of the Naval Training Command and other training facilities at Yorve in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region.
Additionally, he said there had been a modest effort to address some critical welfare related challenges in the navy.
This included the inauguration of a 16-unit accommodation for officers at the wardroom in Accra and the Ratings Transit Quarters at the Ghana Navy Supply Depot in Takoradi, as well as an ongoing construction of a 20-unit accommodation block for Ratings at the Sekondi Barracks.
While the navy continued to pursue the government agenda to acquire Offshore Patrol Vessel and Security Patrol Boats to provide continuous security for offshore oil platforms, he said it had also worked hard to maintain the existing fleet.
He expressed gratitude to the sailors and called for their continuous support, adding that “it has just begun so let us continue to paddle together and put our shoulders to the wheel”.
By Shiela Satori Mensa || ghananewsonline.com.gh