The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) says it is putting in place measures to curb the unlawful sale and use of military-pattern uniforms and accoutrements by individuals and institutions without permits.
Among these measures include the streamlining and coordinating of the issuance and sale of military uniforms and accoutrements by Units and Service Headquarters internally, and the arrest of individuals and institutions involved in the act.
The issuance and sale of military uniforms and accoutrements by the Units and Service Headquarters would be done through Service and Post Exchange Shops, upon proper verification and identification of the personnel.
This was contained in a statement issued and signed by the Director of Public Relations of the GAF, Naval Captain M. A Larbi, and copied to the Ghanaian Times yesterday.
According to the GAF, it had observed with great concern the increasing rate of the unauthorized use of military uniforms by the public despite the continued education and warning issued by the security agency.
This act, the GAF said, created a sense of insecurity in the country and tarnished its image, hence, the need to put an end to it.
“A major concern to GAF is that, notwithstanding the continuous public education and warnings issued to the general public to desist from the unauthorized use of military uniforms, the trend rather appears to be on the increase,” the statement said.
“Noting that these acts create a sense of insecurity in the country and tarnish the image of the military, GAF would not allow this situation to persist and will henceforth step up the arrests of these persons and deal with them drastically but in accordance to the due process of the law,” the statement added.
In the said statement, it explained that the act was an outright contravention of the National Liberation Council Decree (NLCD)177 of 1967, which in part states that “no person shall wear or use any military uniforms, equipment, or accoutrements or other material unless he or she is a member of the Armed Forces of Ghana”.
In accordance with the decree, the statement said the GAF recently rounded up some persons who were captured in a viral video wearing different shades of military camouflage uniforms in Kumasi.
However, the GAF said it later came to light that these persons were members of the District Assembly Taskforce who were carrying out duties for the District Assembly.
Additionally, the GAF noted that military personnel who allow relations and friends access to the uniforms and accoutrements or engage in unauthorized disposal of such items would be equally dealt with in accordance with its regulations and the laws of the country.
In view of this, the GAF, therefore implored the cooperation of the general public in its quest to deal with the issue, while advising them to desist from the act as it was prohibited under the NLCD 177.
It also assured the general public of its commitment to protecting the citizenry at all times and therefore called on the support of all to enforce these measures in the interest of the peace and security the country needed for its socio-economic development.