Air Marshal Michael Sampson Oje, former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was yesterday officially “pulled out” of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), in a colourful ceremony to mark his retirement.
He stood in an open armoured vehicle, with officers pulling the vehicle by rope, while officers and men of GAF and invited guests lined the streets of Burma camp, cheering the retired CDS.
Some senior officers also marched in slow motion behind him, as he waved officers and men of the service goodbye.
After inspecting a parade of nine officers and 96 men and women drawn from the Ghana Navy, Air Force and Army with the Military’s Central band playing various tunes, Air Marshal Oje, in his farewell speech congratulated the newly appointed (CDS), Major General Obed Boamah for his well deserved appointment.
He expressed gratitude to the media, commanders and instructors who guided him throughout his military career.
“As your CDS, I must put on record that I have enjoyed awesome support from all and sundry and I am thankful to all the officers and men of the GAF especially my personal staff who have been phenomenal in supporting me”, he said.
He also thanked President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, and the Minister of Defence for providing funds to enable the command address the outstanding peace keeping allowances of troops.
Air Marshal Sampson Oje assumed the appointment of CDS on January 15 2016.
In his short period as the CDS, he carried out various developmental projects including asphalting of roads within all garrisons of the GAF, ensured the construction of a wall around Burma camp to check encroachment on military lands, oversaw the construction of the 37 Military Hospital kitchen which is in its final stages and also initiated the construction of a new cemetery for the GAF.
The retired officer, who has an extensive piloting experience, was before his appointment as CDS, a Base Commander and the Chief of Air Staff.
Some military officers were also awarded for their immense contribution to the GAF during the ceremony.
By Raissa Sambou