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THE TRUE HIDDEN STORY OF THE SACKED 501 RECRUITS
There are three (3) major reasons why this misfortune befell us ……….. 1. The senior recruit is superior to us (the remaining recruits) in all aspects and hence what ever he says is final. We can’t challenge him because he was given that authority by the instructors and refusal to comply means you’re disobeying the highest order in the school.
2.There’s a term in the military which says “DO BEFORE COMPLAIN”. Which simply means no asking of questions like; why? , how? , for what?, and the others. Your responsibility is to obey what ever you’re told to do before giving any complains.
3. We are seriously taught not to point out any of our colleagues when they do something wrong at the training school, we all have to keep mute and face whatever consequence the fellow recruit would have faced alone, We’re being taught this because when a soldier is captured on the battle field by the enemy, no matter the amount of torture or punishment he faces, he will never reveal the whereabouts of his colleagues.
Many people have reacted in several ways since the break of the news including lawyers and parliamentarians that the recruits should be brought before the law and prosecuted for wasting national resources.
However, has anyone actually wondered why a person in his right state of mind would subject himself to a whole year enlistment process and expenses, two (2) months of standard military training with all that goes into it that certainly most civilians are clueless about and then wake up one morning and say “we want to go home” It is not even possible that 10 recruits will all say at the same time we will go home.
On the 3rd of December 2015,we were sleeping because there was lights out. Had it not been for the lights out, perhaps we would had been on the square undergoing a parade called “THE ANNOYANCE PARADE”.
So the lights out was a great opportunity for us to sleep as recruits . All of a sudden, this senior recruit went round with a torch light waking us up and giving instructions for us to fall in with our black and white attire ( which is what we use for church and special occasions), the already awakened recruits echoed it for those still in bed to fall in. After he had gotten some of the recruits he ordered us to go to the TRAINING CENTER SQUARE.
It was a vulnerable walk with no noise, many recruits even slept on the square until the instructors came around.
( It is somehow his responsibility for he’s the one that wakes us up every blessed day for whatever agenda we have so we didn’t know it was his own plans). Many at times we wear the “black and white ” for the annoyance parade hence that was what we taught it was. We were on the square when the instructors came around to ask why we were there, the senior recruit then stepped forward (only him) and said “THE RECRUITS SAY THEY WANT TO GO HOME”.
We were all surprised but kept mute because we didn’t know what was going on. The RSM (recruit regimental sergeant major) shouted “if you want to go home come forward” that was when we all started running off the square to our various dorms. The question here is why would we run? This is simply because none of us wanted to go home, it was all planned by the senior man for a reason we know not.
The following day we were severely punished which we called it training because there is nothing like punishment at the training center .We were not fed one day , from there we only ate once a day for about 3 to 4 days yet no one complained or tried to run because nobody wanted to.
Barely after two to three weeks about 7 recruits ran away termed as AWOL (absent without official leave) from the training center and they are those who wanted to be home and were replaced by people who had passed the the enlistment process but couldn’t make the final list and were on standby, the rest of us are determined to train with our last breath.
Someone may ask Why didn’t we prove our innocence (Please Refer to point number 3 ) and we didn’t know the severity of what that senior had done.
So we were still sticking to the military teachings. After some days a brigadier General (Atrac commander) visited us because of the incident.
He asked the majority of us whether we want to go home as he heard and not a single recruit said “YES”.
He then condemned the act and enlightened us on the military rules in respect to what happened and encouraged us to tune our mind and train because (this was his statement) “I have seen that none of you want to go home” The three companies ; Alpha , bravo and charley gave morale songs to appreciate him , it was a nice feeling because our ego was highly boosted. But gradually and suprisingly command came from the headquaters stopping us from some of the training categories one by one; weapon, Physical training , Drills and finally classes. we were told by some of the instructors we were coming for christmas break and that is why the training had been stopped. We believed it because before the incident some of the officers asked us whether we will want to go for christmas or not as some said yes and others no on several times.
On 22nd December 2015, we were paid our allowances and assured that we were coming for the Christmas holidays and would be back. The next day, which was the 23rd of December, we wore our black and white as instructed and assembled on the square and waited for the last words of the atrac commander.
He said ” My instructors here are going for Christmas break and you all know what happened on the 3rd December so we’re also breaking you, investigations are still in progress. When you get home, don’t mingle yourselves in any dubious activities; fighting, drinking and others and train hard but do not sleep.
Some instructors also laminated ” this is a chance to some of you with wounded legs to go and cure them before you come back here ” Barely one week after we got home, we started hearing news that “501 RECRUITS SACKED” on almost all the forms of media. We were not worried because the military had not spoken and we were given the assurance that we’ll return.
Further more the military gave us appointment letters and they had not given us any letter which indicated that they’ve sacked us. Most of us could not go to the media to explain our situation because we were told to stay away from the media.
There were a time we heard a recruit explaining what happened on the radio and felt like beating him to death if he was identified because we taught that could in someway jeopardise our return. So we kept mute till when we read that we were sacked in the graphic by brigadier general Adeti.
If the investigation of the BOI (board of inquiry) that took place at the training camp (SHAI HILLS), contributed to our dismissal then it was perhaps because the answers the witnesses gave in response to the BOI questions were in defence of the senior man, simply because of what we were taught. (no snitching on a fellow recruit who does something wrong) (please refer to point number 3) If we knew that the incidence was bringing us home then we would have told whatever truth we knew in the matter and explained all to prove our innocence.
We don’t have any comfort in our lifes now and we are in no position to cause any violence though we’ve learnt a lot, we are determined to serve our country with our last breath , we have passion for the job and want to serve mother Ghana.
Do we have the voice and can We speak ? Who will listen to us and who will help ? We are therefore pleading with the President, the Ghana Armed Forces, CDS, the Interior and Defence minister of our noble country Ghana to consider us and help us go back because we are innocent.