The National Democratic Congress (NDC) upon taking over the reign of power – even at the transition stage – ordered then Director General of Personnel Administration (PA) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Air Commodore Dovlo now Air Vice Marshal, the most awful ever promotion done in the history of the Ghana Airforce, to suspend the recruitment thereby rendering the 420 youth recruited unemployed simply because they were recruited by the erstwhile government.

The New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Major (retd) Derek Yaw Oduro has since been asking about the fate of the youth.

DAYBREAK is reproducing a written statement presented by Ghana’s Defence Minister on Wednesday, 10th June 2009 on the floor of Parliament as an answer to Maj. (retd) Oduro’s question.

Ghana’s Defence Minister’s answer is reproduced below:

“Madam Speaker, the Ghana Armed Forces commenced the 2008 General Recruitment Exercise on 10th March 2008 with regional screening exercise. At the end of the initial screening seven hundred and ninety-eight (798) applicants were short listed for further screening exercise in Accra. The subsequent screening exercise resulted in the selection of 420 applicants to undergo a six months training at the Army Recruit Training School (ARTS) at Shai Hills from 31st January, 2009.

Madam Speaker, the Military High Command had to suspend this training programme following persistent complaints by the general public of anomalies in the recruitment exercise. A Board of Inquiry was set up to investigate the various complaints lodged.

Madam Speaker, the investigation confirmed serious anomalies that flawed the well laid down recruitment procedures in the Ghana Armed Forces. For instance, from the 420 selected, only 228 applicants passed through all stages of the recruitment exercise, the remaining 192 were illegally inserted. The Military High Command accordingly accepted the recommendation to suspend the recruitment of the 420 applicants selected for training. A second reason for the suspension of recruitment was that on a routine visit to garrisons, I observed that the infrastructure at ARTS was so inadequate that it would end up corrupting our final product. Recruitments funding would therefore be used to improve physical conditions in the training school.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to say that the suspension of the training of the 420 selected applicants had to be suspended in good faith in order to preserve the security and safety on the citizens of the state. The enlistment process is being reviewed to ensure that this situation is never repeated. As soon as the anomalies are rectified, a fresh recruitment exercise would be launched. Those affected applicants may re-apply when the recruitment exercise resumes”.