Ghana’s Military is facing backlash over the recruitment of older individuals into the forces.
The Herald, has obtained details of a woman in her 50s who has been enlisted as a soldier in the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), sparking controversy over the military’s recruitment process in recent years.
Identified as Private F Baah Ofosuhemaa with army number 221798, her pictures went viral last Friday when she completed military training at the GAF’s Jungle Warfare Training School in Achiase, Eastern Region.
Assigned to the 6 Battalion of Infantry in Accra, she is now stationed at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, suggesting she can’t withstand the drudgery of army life on the field, hence being hidden in the comfort of a medical facility by the military hierarchy.
The circumstances surrounding her recruitment raise questions about the GAF’s selection criteria and whether specific needs such as vocation or profession influenced the decision by the Ghana Army to recruit her.
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Beyond her recruitment which has sparked outrage within and outside the Armed Forces as to the extent the current government has debased the enlistment process by doing secret enrolments, rather than operating a competitive process, little is known about the lady.
The Herald’s information is that before her military career, Ofosuhemaa served as the Branch Women Organizer for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) at Buduburam near Kasoa in the Central Region.
Images of her in NPP regalia with heavy makeup and thick eyebrows, have gone viral on social media.
Months ago, her pictures made it to social media when she reported for training, but it was perceived as a joke. However, she has since been officially recognized as a full-fledged army personnel.
Outside the concerns of political influence in military recruitment, the public is questioning the suitability of older individuals in active service, considering factors such as age, medical fitness, and the expected years of service.
While the focus remains on Ofosuhemaa, there are claims that she is not an isolated case, and other older individuals are allegedly being discharged, despite their experience and fitness.
Notably, a few years ago, another over-aged individual named Bakpa gained attention on social media after being enlisted as a private soldier.
The GAFs’ Public Relations Directorate is yet to address the public’s concerns regarding the recruitment of older individuals.
On a bigger scale, the issue raises suspicions about potential favouritism and job creation for unemployed party supporters.
Furthermore, the situation reflects a broader issue of transparency and fairness in Ghana’s military recruitment process.
Already, reports suggest ethnic and regional imbalances among the top echelons of the GAF as promotions and appointments have been skewed in recent years.
The Ghana Army’s Jungle Warfare School (JWS), Achiase held its fourth Passing-Out parade to celebrate the graduation of three hundred and four (304) Young Soldiers from the Basic Infantry Training Course 3.
The Army sacked two recruits who used forged documents to gain entry into the institution. The forgeries were discovered weeks into their training and were accordingly dismissed.
The latest graduation parade took place on Friday, February 9, at the Square of the Seth Anthony Barracks, Achiase, with Brigadier General Anthony Ntem, serving as the Reviewing Officer.
The training began on Friday, August 11, 2023, lasting a total of six months.
The 304 recruits underwent comprehensive military training covering various aspects, such as Physical Training, Tactics, Weapon Training, Drill, Military Law, Map Reading, Field Craft, and First Aid within the six (6) months they were camped.
The training aimed to equip them for the challenges of their future military careers.
At the awards ceremony, Private Ahatse Joshua, was recognized as the Overall Best Recruit, Boahen Obed as Best in Drill, Private Marfo Foster as Best Academically, and Private Boateng Sandra as Best Female Recruit.