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Minister of Defence urges political leaders not to drag military into party politics

Minister of Defence urges political leaders not to drag military into party politics

Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence, has urged the country's political leadership not to drag the military into party as well as incite the population against it.

The Defence Minister, in his remarks on the Republic Day lecture, said some people thought the military were or could be targeted or used for personal or a group's ulterior motives.

The lecture was organised by the Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) in conjunction with the One Ghana Movement at Teshie in on the theme: “Reflections on the democratic control over the military: a way forward for sustainability.”

He said due to the lack of knowledge about the activities, functions and purpose of the military, people say all manner of things which should be avoided at all costs as this could lead to national breakdown.

“Don't weaken the military by making people not fear it because if it is weakened to the extent that people don't fear your military our nation would crash,” he said.

Mr. Nitiwul however, called for a “fine line” between civil -military relationship and military conduct, saying such relationship should be a well-defined balance between the two to strengthen the country's democratic process and progress.

“There is a fine line between how we relate with the military and how we want them to behave. So, if there is a public disturbance to the extent that the Police call in the military and people say we are not going to leave but we will face the military, then what will we do?

Should the military also run away? Should they control the people by using brute minimum force? Would the military be taken to the cleaners because they use brute minimum force? These are some of the things we need to address to shape our culture as a country,” he said.

He stressed that the military should not be dragged into the affairs of any political party whether in power or in opposition because their duty was to defend and guard the country's democratic political process regardless of whatever happens.

He said “some of the brainiest and talented people” in the country were embedded in the military thus needed to be fully utilized by the country to enhance the military's participation and confidence in the democratic governance system and process.

The GAFCSC-One Ghana Movement republic day lectures featured Francis Poku (Esq), a former Minister, who, during his lecture on the same topic, highlighted the importance of civil control of the military.

He explained how the political authority could effectively use the constitution to do so, how the country could utilize them to strengthen the country democratic governance and system, their critical role in ensuring peace, security and handling of subregional threats.

He made recommendations to enhance civil-military cooperation for economic and political stability in the country.

Mr Poku was supported by Professor Kwesi Anning, security expert, and Madam Josephine Nkrumah, the Economic Community for West African States () Commissioner to , who reinforced his assertions and recommendations.

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