The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged his commitment to establish a Forward Operating Base (FOB) for the country’s military at Ezinlibo in the Jomoro Municipality of the Western Region for the protection of the country’s oil resources.
President Akufo-Addo who is also the Commander in chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) made the above utterance on Friday, October 19, 2018 at the graduation parade of the Ghana Military Academy (GMA), Teshie, near Accra, where he commissioned 138 cadet officers into the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
Forward Operating Base (FOB) is any secured forward operational level military position commonly a military base that is used to support strategic goals and tactical objectives.
An FOB may or may not contain an airfield, hospital, machine shop or other logistical facilities while the base may be used for an extended period of time.
They are traditionally supported by Main Operating Bases that are required to provide backup support to them while a FOB also improves reaction time to local areas as opposed to having all troops on the main operating base.
Ghana, a few months ago, emerged victorious in a three-year maritime boundary dispute with neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire at the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), Germany.
The Chamber, in a unanimous decision on Saturday, 23 September 2017, ruled that there had not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.
The Chamber rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s argument that Ghana’s coastal lines were unstable.
Accordingly, the two countries have signed agreements on the implementation of the ruling by the tribunal.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, President Akufo-Addo revealed that a contract has been signed for the establishment of a Forward Operating Base at Ezinlibo in the Jomoro Municipality to protect Ghana’s oil resources.
“A contract has also been signed for the construction of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Ezinlibo in the Western Region to protect our oil resources, he assured.
He said the government had signed a contract with a firm for work to begin on the project while the Ministry of Defence and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) had also ordered six patrol boats to augment the fleet of the Navy as part of moves to protect the nation’s maritime resources and oil fields.
“In conjunction with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, the Ministry of Defence has ordered six patrol boats for the Ghana Navy to help in the protection of our maritime resources and our oil fields. We have increased, since February 2017, the UN peacekeeping daily earned amount from $30 to $35, and consistently ensured that troops are paid at their operational areas, rather than being paid here at home,” he added.
Whilst acknowledging that there are still some issues to be addressed, President Akufo-Addo assured that “other accommodation and equipment needs of the Ghana Armed Forces will be duly resolved to enhance efficiency and morale.”
With the Ghana Military Academy not witnessing any significant development in its infrastructure, since its establishment in 1960, the President told the gathering that he has directed the Minister for Defence to take steps to wall off the remaining lands.
“Plans have also been put in place for the building of new, state-of-the-art infrastructure to meet the requirements of a 21st century training institution. This is a legacy I would want to bequeath to the Ghana Armed Forces,” he added. Maintain good relations with civilians.
To the graduating officer cadets, President Akufo-Addo stated that they are joining a profession whose members have not only upheld its image, but also continue to ensure that the territorial integrity of our nation is preserved, thereby making Ghana peaceful and stable.
“In order to execute your onerous obligations, the motto of the Academy, ‘Service, Devotion and Sacrifice’, must always be your guiding principles. You must bear in mind that the Ghana Armed Forces, over the years, has striven to maintain a healthy relationship with the civilian population, in line with the tenets of national integration and cohesion,” the President said.
After the President’s announcement, some media houses have reported that the military base would be established in Ellembelle District of Western Region and the town where the base is going to be established has also been wrongly spelled.
But a visit to the actual place by the GhanaWeb’s Western Regional Correspondent on Sunday, October 21, 2018, has revealed that the military base (Forward Operating Base) will be established at Ezinlibo in the Jomoro Municipality not Ellembelle District.
The visit to the community has also helped GhanaWeb to cite a site plan of the proposed military base in the area.
Interacting with some folks in the community, they thanked President Akufo-Addo for recognizing their area for this such an important project.
The Assembly Member for the area, Hon. Emmanuel Assuah-Achie popularly known as Emmaseco said if project is established it will improve the economic activities of the area.
He also thanked President Akufo-Addo for bringing such project to his electoral area.
He confirmed the proposed site plan for the project cited by GhanaWeb as authentic and added the community is ever ready to cooperate with the contractor to establish it.
He, therefore, used the opportunity and appealed to the youth in the area to support the contractor to establish it on time and also advised them to be disciplined before, during and after the project.
He added “Mr. Reporter you have done well to visit here to ascertain the fact because I became worried when some media houses were saying that the establishment of the military base to protect our oil resources was going to be established in Ellembelle, God bless you for coming here. I urge the government to honour his promise and let me assure the government that we the people of Ezinlibo support this project and we will cooperate with the contractor to finish the project on time”.
In all, 138 cadet officers, including two allied officers from Guinea, were passed out on Friday.
The overall best award also known as Sword of Honour went to Junior Under Officer S. A. Appiah.
A female Junior Under Officer, Ms Akosua Serwaa Appiah, took two awards: the Chief of Army Staff’s Award and the Military Cane.