The simple and mere prevaricated lies that Lt. Gen Smith, the Defence Minister told the Peoples Representative when he appeared before them has earned him an automatic entry into the gang of ‘liars’ that are currently working in this National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
Concerning the persistent complaints by the general public on the anomalies, this paper wants the Minister to prove to the whole nation, the names of the complainants, nature of complaints, when the complaint was made, to whom the complaints were made, records of receipt of complaints, officer in charge of complaints and evidence provided by complainants on the of nature of complaints.
Evidence gathered by this paper so far shows that the Minister told a flagrant lie when he said the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) commenced the 2008 Recruitment on 10th March 2008.Letters for the applicants short-listed for screening for preliminary documentation/body selection, trade examination among others commenced on 4th March 2008 and were signed on 15th February, 2008 by Col Damoah as the then Director General Personal Administration.
Also, screening for Greater Accra started on 4th March 2008 with applicants reporting to the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex whilst the other regions commenced theirs on the 10th March 2008.Again it is not true that 192 were ‘illegal inserted’. The reasons for the alleged insertions does not hold water because due to the limitations of time and the postal services, which made it impossible for some of the recruits to be notified, the then Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) at the time, Gen. J. B. Danquah, ordered that all those who had been approved but who had not received their letters in time should join the national processing exercise at the El Wak Stadium in Accra. The 192 candidates had been approved and therefore it is not true that they had been ‘illegally inserted’.
Again the 192 ‘illegally inserted’ recruits contained sportsmen and women as well as special tradesmen. Checks conducted by this newspaper reveal that as at 3rd December 2008, a letter signed for the Director General Training by Lt. Col JHK Buntuguh presented a list of sportsmen and women who had passed aptitude tests but had not been medically examined because as the letter stated ‘this Department is very interested in these personnel because most of them have international experience which will greatly enhance the fortunes of GAF in next year’s international competitions we will be competing in’.
Similar correspondence is available for 25th September, 24 October and 7th November 2008 respectively. The number short-listed for further screening in Accra from the Regional screening was not 798 as indicated by the Minister. The number 798 was only for the first batch and this excludes the figure short-listed for the second batch which is 560, and therefore the Minister misrepresented the facts once again.
The reason why the figure for the first batch is bigger is because it includes all female candidates irrespective of trade i.e. medical, sports, clerks, IT, pay etc because females are trained only during the first batch of any particular year in order to maximize use of resource as the dormitory earmarked for females can take a maximum of 130 persons.If even 50 females are invited for training no male can accommodated in the excess capacity as females are not accommodated with males in the same dormitory.However, during the second batch, the female dormitory is converted or given to males as there are no females.
Consequently, most often the number that passes out of ARTS during the 2nd batch is bigger than the 1st batch. For instance, in 2008, 1st batch of Army Recruits that passed from ARTS was 416 while the 2nd batch figure was 432.It is also important to note that left-overs from the 1st batch can always be added to the 2nd batch and that is why the 1st batch number is more.
Additionally, all sportsmen, medical personnel and tradesmen are usually added to the 1st batch. Sportsmen are to pass out of ARTS in June so that they can take part in Armed Forces Games in July/August and Security Service Games (SESSA GAMES) in September/October of a particular.In the same way medical personal undergo nursing training at 37 Military Hospital in September when the academic year starts. They are therefore made to join the first Batch so that they can pass out by June ending or early July of any particular year.
The 2nd batch figure of 560 for the Army was not featured at all in the Defence Minister’s Answer. They were to start medical examination at 37 Military Hospital in March and April 2009 when the exercise was suspended (and now cancelled) after the training of the 1st batch Army Potential Recruits was suspended on 30th January 2009.If the argument was that the 1st batch cannot go for training because their medical results will be invalid after June 2009 after the so called maintenance work, then the 2nd batch who are yet to undergo the medical examination can be considered alongside the 228 recruits (even admitting that 192 are to be dropped).
The 2 groups can provide the 2 batches of the 420 each or close to that which will be better than canceling the entire training.Additionally, there were some candidates who were on stand-by from the 1st batch who were not short-listed for training, can some of them be added to the 228 to make the number for training.It is unfortunate that the Minister spoke ignorantly when he said that the Ghana Armed Forces do not owe any of the applicants the duty to recruit them.Well for his ignorance, the 228 who by the Minister’s own assertion went through all the stages of the recruitment successfully and were given invitation letters to undergo training can take legal action against the Ghana Armed Forces.
There was a binding contract between them and the Ghana Armed Forces. The letters of invitation were offered to them and their acceptance was the acceptance letters they sent to the GAF and most importantly the consideration was the items they bought and their readiness and presence at El-Wak to be conveyed to ARTS.It is therefore wrong for General Smith to say in Parliament that the GAF do not owe the potential Army Recruits any duty of recruitment.