The Minister of Defence and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla – Dominic Nitiwul, has called on the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to extend their work to, once again, join hands with the Ghana Police Service to arrest the rising incidence of land-guards in the country.
The defence minister made the call as the Guest-of-Honour, at the GAF tri-service shooting competition codenamed EX FIREBLAST which took place at the Yawhima Gallery Range in Sunyani, from Wednesday, 21st to Friday, 23rd November 2018.
Mr Nitiwul indicated that the phenomenon of land-guards was causing a sense of fear and panic, unjustifiably and unlawfully depriving citizens of their properties, adding that “I do not have to recount how innocent citizens have been maimed physically and psychologically or brutally murdered,” due to the activities of land-guards.
He also revealed that the government through the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved an amount of one hundred million USD ($100M) Housing Plan in the 2019 national budget to help solve accommodation and logistical challenges of GAF. On the competition, the minister reminded the forces that training remained the bedrock of success and an indispensable cardinal of the military profession.
He added that while conventional warfare may continue, the incidence of non-state actors undermine the safety and security of individuals, nations and businesses, thus practising to accurately hit targets has become important because of the increasing wave of asymmetric warfare around the world.
There is, therefore, the need to have well trained personnel with a large number of marksmen to surmount any counter insurgency or terrorist attack on any part of the country, he urged. At the contest proper, Ghana Army pipped the Air Force and stretched the Navy, in a thrilling but uncompromising contest which had the aim to mainly enable the exchange of training ideas, foster cooperation and promote healthy competition and esprit de corps within the ranks of the armed forces.
The three-day event saw participating teams drawn from the Army, Navy and Air Force keenly compete in the M16 (Standard), M16 (Carbine), Pistol and Falling Plates practices. In a fitting matchup to climax the competition, Air Force Team B bettered the Army Team A in the finals of the Fallen Plate Practice with officials having to resort to video replay to affirm the winner.
The Army emerged tops with a total of 2460 points, Air Force came 2nd with 2434 points while a total of 2093 points was accumulated by the Navy, who came in 3rd place. Corporal (Cpl) Ayensu Bentil of Air Force and Lance Corporal (L/Cpl) Adjei Eugenia of the Army were adjudged the Best Overall Individual Male and Female respectively.
In attendance at the completion were the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshall (AVM) Maxwell Matsebi-Tei Nagai and the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Rear Admiral (R/Adm) Peter Kofi Faidoo among others.