By Bernice Bessey
67 students have graduated from the Senior Division Course 40 and Master of Science Degree in Defence and International Politics (MDIP) at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), and among them is 63-year-old Johnson Asiedu Nketia.
Johnson Aiedu Nketia, well-known as General Mosquito, is the General Secretary of Ghana’s biggest opposition party – the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
His zeal to acquire knowledge, despite his age, was something the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, while gracing the joint ceremony as Guest of Honour found inspiring.
According to the Vice President: “I will single out a special person, one of our graduands, today, Johnson Aiedu Nketia. He is known as the General of Mosquitoes, and also the General Secretary of the NDC. Even though I am told while he came into this institution he left all his ‘ntoatoa’ (bluffs) behind the gate.
“As I shook at his hand, I was wondering whether the physical training and exercises had added anymore muscles, but it appears it didn’t work. But I am told that he did not come here for the physical muscles, but he came here to beef up the intellectual capacity of the NDC. And also to enhanced his case being selected as the running mate.
“More seriously, I really want congratulates my friend, Johnson Aiedu Nketia. It shows that it can never be too late to acquire knowledge.”
He also congratulated the other graduands, made up of 27 allied officers from 13 sister African countries, for the effort, and further commended the Commandant, and past commandants and staff, for projecting the image of the College to this enviable status. Thus, he said, the GAFCSC had succeeded in establishing itself as a Center of Excellence on the African Continent when it comes to the training of middle and senior level officers of staff command and leadership roles for the Ghana Army, and that of sister African countries and allied security institutions.
“It is not surprising to learn that the products of this institution are rising and are known to be taking different leadership positions in different establishments in various countries,” the Vice President added.
He said there was a need for cross-fertilise ideas and share experiences with other regional blocs, in order to synchronise our interoperability in the face of numerous conflicts on the African Continent.
“For the civilians who pursued the Master of Science in Defence and International Politics programme, you should regard yourselves as ambassadors of this renowned institution.
Let the knowledge you have gained here manifest in your work places and in your life endeavours. Be very diligent and let the tenets of loyalty, leadership, time management and the sense of responsibility instilled in you be evident in whatever you do,” he advised.
His profound appreciation also went the United Kingdom and German governments for keeping faith with the college and supervisory bodies.
Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour, Commandant of the GAFCSC, said the senior division course was open to all security services, department and agencies, as well as private organisations, in the spirit of inter-agency training.
Furthermore, we have to promote common understanding and develop a common approach in fighting the numerous social, developmental and security concerns of the West African sub-region in particular, and the continent as a whole.
According to him, the graduands have diverse backgrounds that would enhance the approach of tackling these numerous challenges facing the continent.
He, however, entreated the graduating class of 2019 to be exemplary torchbearers of the college.