Extreme and sudden changes in weather conditions dented an otherwise brilliant joint passing out parade by contingents of senior and junior senior cadets at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Academy at Kpetoe in the Volta Region, on Friday.
The parade started about an hour behind schedule in the wake of a severely hot weather.
After the drill display, march past in slow and quick time and the advance in review order, 15 of the more than 220 cadets who took part in the parade fainted.
The casualties were carried off the square to a makeshift first aid post.
Meanwhile, other cadets who clearly showed weakness on their feet on the parade ground were quickly offered water to keep them stable.
Soon after midday, the moment of pandemonium followed as the scorching sun suddenly gave way to dark clouds and very strong winds, prompting an evacuation of the dignitaries on the dais before the rain set in.
This was when the reviewing officer, Mr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, acting Commissioner General of GRA, was reading his speech after inspecting the parade.
At one stage, the scene was like members of a disorganised platoon in a fight for individual survival.
That notwithstanding, members of the public continued to applaud the valiant cadets, who defied the hostile weather to complete the parade with gallantry and the rendition of the Academy Anthem.
Twenty-six-year-old female cadet, Nora Konadu, who was the parade commander, was the toast of many as she remained resolute and commanded the parade with vigour to add credence to the assertion that, ‘whatever men can do women can also do.”
In all, 51senior and 171 junior officers graduated from the academy, and that was the first time in the history of the academy when senior and junior cadets passed out at the same ceremony.
The Reviewing Officer congratulated the new officers and urged them to continue to be ethical and demonstrate discipline at their duty posts.
The award for the overall best cadet in the seniors’ division went to Daniel Aboagye.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, KPETOE