The $6 million new military cemetery project which was awarded by the previous military high command under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration two years ago, has finally been completed for use.
The project was the initiative of the immediate past Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Air Marshal Michael Samson-Oje, upon realization that the current military cemetery at Osu, Accra, was almost full.
The 64-acre land located at 5BN Burma Camp, has the capacity to contain about 16,000 graves, according to the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul.
At the official opening and dedication yesterday, Mr Nitiwul said the Osu military cemetery is full and cannot be used to bury deceased military personnel and their entitled family members anymore.
“I trust that the military, with its discipline, will maintain and keep this facility well for generations yet to come,” he noted, adding that a nation that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for.
“Therefore, the construction of this new cemetery is a gesture from the government to show its deepest appreciation to the military for the numerous sacrifices made towards upholding its constitutional mandate in the area of security for our motherland Ghana,” he said.
Mr Nitiwul reiterated that the least any government can do for its fallen heroes is to give them a resting place – a place befitting the sacrifices that these heroes have made for the nation and a place where their families can pay their last respects.
In an address by the current Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant Gen. Obed Boamah Akwa confirmed that even though the cemetery is not fully completed, approval had been given for interment pending final completion.
The new military cemetery has pre-burial facilities, including church service, an apian way, grave yard for retired personnel, Generals, Very Very Important People (VVIP), family and children of personnel among others as well as burial ground for Muslims.
It also has three main access gates, a car park for 20 buses and 400 cars, and a space for about 100 species of plants, a memorial wall, among others.
By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey