My name is Lieutenant Commander Yankey, I was commissioned into the Armed Forces in the year 2000 after undergoing the Standard Military Course and Regular Career Course at the Ghana Military Academy.
The terrific issue at hand has prompted me to tell my story as a Detachment Commander. I was in 2003 posted to take charge of a Detachment which has been operating at the Western border with the Ivory Coast since the 1970’s.
This posting followed the drowning by smugglers of Naval ratings stationed in the area in the years 2000 and 2003.
The core mandate of the Detachment is to serve as the first line of defence from any aggression from our western neighbours.
Other tactical tasks are issued from higher command to the Detachment as and when it becomes necessary.
In 2004 during the high tides of the Ivorian war, the Detachment was tasked to ensure that the smuggling of Arms and ammunition which was being used to fuel the war is curtailed and perpetrators brought to book.
It was in line with this new task that the Detachment went on patrols along the beaches in the area based on intelligence provided by the BNI and the Department of Defence Intelligence.
Apart from this specific task given to the Detachment, the Detachment which had only one officer and 30 men was responsible for the protection of the then recently acquired Osagyefo Power Barge and also to stop the increased smuggling of fuel from Ghana to Ivory Coast and cocoa in the reverse order. These activities were so much costing the country economically.
So on the night of 6th November 2004, I the Detachment commander and 5 other ranks left our base for the patrols which was aimed at intercepting a planned shipment of arms and ammunition through through a village on our western coast.
These activities invariably was known to the then DCE and other prominent people in the area.
Unknown to the patrol team a message had been sent to the smugglers and the villagers who gave the smugglers protection for a fee, that we were there to stop them from making their livelihood. So on sighting us at the beach in the evening the whole village ganged up to attack us.
Unlike Captain Mahama who alone I was fortunate to be with 5 other loyal soldiers. Upon seeing the sticks and stones wielding crowd my soldier as per SOP cocked their weapons and took aim.
But the sight of children among the crowd got to me and the order to fire at the crowd never came.
I together with the 5 soldiers fought our hearts out and sustained severe injuries in the bid to keep my life and the life of my soldiers. By the good grace of the Almighty God that me and my soldiers were saved. 8 people were arrested and sent to the court for the attack on us. But as I am typing now the vase was never heard because the Armed forces left me and my men to our fate.
Justice has never been served to me and my men. I pray and hope Captain Mahama receives the justice he deserves. I nearly lost my life and the lives of my men that night. Soldiers are not the enemies of the people.
We are not saints but we are not demons either. We are people husbands and wives, we belong to families and are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters of people. We are just different because we are trained for war which is to protect this very land.
It’s just unfortunate we have to endure all these pain in silence and much more painful when
it’s suffered at the hands of the very people we are protecting. RIPP BROTHER, COMRADE, SOLDIER AND HERO. I do share your pain.
My advise to all Detachment commanders is that please do not trust the political appointees you meet in your area of operations.
They are politicians politicians and politicians and are politicians and are never truthful. They will sell you to your death for their selfish gains. This is to all our Friends In Arms.