HISTORY OF 6 INFANTRY BATTALION
PRE-WORLD WAR II
6 Infantry Battalion was first ever raised at Accra on 01 November 1941 under Lt Col LG Dickson. It was designated a training Battalion till July 1941 and was called 6 Gold Coast Regiment (GCR). It was the duty of the Bn to train troops for the World War II. The unit was relocated several times during its formative years. It was stationed at Takoradi during August 1941 – August 1944. It moved to Kintampo in August 1944 – August 1945 and later to Kumasi in August 1945 – o1 July 1946. The Bn was disbanded in 1946 as part of the Post World War II reforms programme.
POST WORLD WAR II
In Feb 1964, the President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, as part of post-Independence Expansion Programme gave the assent to form an extra Infantry Battalion to defend the country against internal and external aggression. On 15 May 1964, the unit was formed at Ranchi Barracks, Takoradi under the Command of Lt Col AK Ocran, with Lt KB Agbo as the Adjutant; the majority of the troops were posted in from AFTC Kumasi. However, WOs, SNCOs and NCOs were posted from other units. The total unit strength was 1000 all ranks. It consisted of an HQ Coy, Sp Coy, four rifle Coys A, B, C and D. The unit was presented with its colours in 1968, by the late Lt Gen JA Ankrah then C-in-C at Harcourt Lines, Takoradi. The unit was assigned Western and Central Regions as its Internal Security area of responsibility. In Jan 1971 the unit moved from Ranchi Barracks and took over Kamina Barracks, Tamale, from ABF as part of Battalion rotation at that time. Before the unit left Takoradi, Lt Col Akuffo was the CO. However, Lt Col EKT Donkor and WOI Ali Nakyia who were ABF CO and RSM respectively became the CO and RSM when the unit came to Tamale. As part of the reorganization in the Army, the unit was designated 6 Training Battalion in 1984. The CO was Lt Col TE Nguah. In 1986, the unit was reverted to 6 Infantry Battalion with Lt Col Nick Sowatey as the CO. At the moment the unit consists of an HQ Coy, SP Coy, three Rifle Coys A, B, and C.
The unit motto is “6 We Can”. It was instituted in 1988 by Lt Col N Sowartey (22nd CO). It means there is no task, which is above the unit.
The unit slogan is “Discipline –Success”. It was instituted by Lt Col EB Sarfo (23rd CO). The unit Anthem was composed by WOII Ernest Addy, the title is “Success Is Our Goal”.
- Not by our might but God’s grace,
- Success is our goal;
- Discipline is our bedrock.
- We can always fight and win.
- With love we live in unity;
- And solid as a family.
- Great 6 Bn, success is our goal;
The emblem consists of a bow and arrow with the motto and slogan of the unit inscribed on top and below against the unit colour of deep orange. It was designed in 1988 by the then RSM, WOI Opoku Justice.
The first mascot, a ram, christened L/Cpl Prince Charles was presented by Lt Col PSA Twumasi Ankrah (13th CO) to this unit in 1977. The Mascot died after a few months.
The Unit is decorated by the following Battle Honours, Ashanti 1873 –74, Narungumbe; Kamina; Cameroons 1914 – 16, Ashanti 1900 and Duala.
The unit has assisted the Northern Regional Administration to restore and maintain law and order in the Northern conflicts, especially in Op GONGONG 1– V:
- Gonja/Vaglas in Bole area – 1980.
- Konkomba/Nanumba in Bimbilla area 1980 – 1981.
- Konkomba/Bimoba in Bunkpurugu area 1986.
- Gonja/Nawuri in Kpandai area 1990 – 1991.
- Konkomba/Nanumbas, Dagombas and Gonjas 1994.
- Yendi skin Affairs still on going.
- UNEF - SINAI, EGYPT, (1973 – 79) Two tours, first tour as Ghanbatt 1 with HQ at Camp E1-fanara under Lt Col WW Bruce Konuah (January –October 1974) and Second tour as Ghanbatt 8 with HQ at Mitla Camp under Lt Col FA Ayittey (1977 – 78).
- UNIFIL - Lebanon (from August 1979). First as Ghanbatt 14 with HQ at Kafr Dunin under Lt Col JT Peedah (November 1980 – May 1981), Second as Ghanbatt 31 with HQ at Maraka under Lt Col N Sowartey (Dec 1988 – June 1988), Third as Ghanbatt
- with HQ AT A1 Qaranis under Lt Col R Debrah (September 1994 – March 1995) and fourth tour as 51 with HQ at A1 Qaranis under Lt Col HWK Agbenuzah (September 1999 – March 2000).
- ECOMOG - Liberia (from August 1991 – 1992) one tour as Ghanbatt 4 with HQ at the Baptist Seminary under Lt Col EB Sarfo (August 1991 – February 1992).
- UNTAC - Cambodia (1992 – 1993) one tour as Ghanbatt 1 with HQ at Phnom Penn under Lt Col, later Col EB Sarfo (June 1992 – March 1993).
- MONUC GH – Congo DR (from 2002) one tour as Ghanbatt 3 with HQ at Mbandaka under Lt Col Dela Sakyi (Nov 02 – Jun 03).
- UNAMSIL – Sierra Leone (2005) –one tour as Ghanbatt 11 with HQ at BO under Lt Col W Omane-Agyekum. (Mar 05 – Sep 05).
- Lt Col AK Ocran - 15 May 64 - 09 Aug 1965
- Lt Col P Laryea - 09 Aug 65 - 27 Mar 66
- Lt Col IK Acheampong - 17 Mar 66 - 15 Apr 67
- Maj EM Osei Wusu - 15 Apr 67 - 20 Apr 67
- Lt Col IK Acheampong - 20 Apr 67 - 15 May 67
- Maj W Tay - 15 May 67 - 05 Jun 69
- Lt Col DA Asare - 05 Jun 69 - 24 Sep 69
- Maj JC Agbleze - 24 Sep 69 - 17 Nov 69
- Lt Col FWK Akuffo - 17 Nov 69 - 15 Jan 71
- Lt Col EKT Donkor - 15 Jan 71 - 07 Mar 72
- Lt Col WW Bruce Konuah - 07 Mar 72 - 15 Sep 74
- Lt Col EDF Prah - 15 Sep 74 - 29 Nov 76
- Lt Col PSA Twumasi Ankrah - 29 Nov 76 - 29 Jul 77
- Lt Col FA Ayittey - 29 Jul 77 - 17 Mar 78
- Lt Col J Odei - 17 Mar 78 - 5 Mar 79
- Lt Col JT Peedah - 15 Mar 79 - 29 Jul 80
- Maj JL Abito - 29 Jul 80 - 21 Dec 80
- Maj MD Bray - 22 Dec 80 - 03 Aug 81
- Lt Col JT Peedah - 04 Aug 81 - 31 May 82
- Lt Col BB Lorwiah - 24 Feb 82 - 31 May 84
6 Trg Bn
- Lt Col TE Nguah - 01 Jun 84 - 18 Sep 86
- Lt Col N Sowartey - 19 Sep 89 - 18 Feb 90
- Lt Col EB Sarfo - 19 Feb 90 - 29 Apr 93
- Lt Col R Debrah - 29 Apr 93 - 30 Sep 96
- Lt Col HWK Agbenuzah - 01 Oct 96 - 24 Jan 01
- Lt Col DJ Sakyi - 25 Jan 01 - 19 Oct 03
- Lt Col W Omane-Agyekum - 20 Oct 03 -
- WOI Iddrisu Ibn Nomah - 15 May 64 - Jan
- WOI Ali Nakyea - Jan 71 - 22 Aug 77
- WOI Gyiwah P - 1977 - 1979
- WOI Gyiwah P - 1977 - 1979
- WOI Apambire W - 1979 - 1982
- WOI Mensah George - 1982 - 1984
- WOI Akanbodipo G - 1984 - 1986
- WOI Asare Eric - 1986 - 1988
- WOI Opoku Justice - 09 May 88 - 26 Mar 93
- WOI Andrews Yaw Collins - 07 Jul 93 - 09 Apr 01
- SWO Adong–Yure William - 10 Apr 01 - 01 Nov 05
- SWO Baafi Samuel - 6 Jan 06 -
NOTABLES PRODUCED BY UNIT
- Lt Gen Ocran - Member of NLC and member 1969 Presidential Commission.
- Gen IK Acheampong - Head of State.
- Gen FWK Akuffo – Head of State.
- Brig DA Asare - Army Commander.
- Lt Col EKT Donkor – Minister of Defence.
- Brig Joe Odei - Former DFC UNIFIL.
- Col TE Nguah - Comd 1 Infantry Bde, DFC UNIFIL and DFC ECOMOG.
- Brig RK Agbemasu – Commandant Snr Staff College.
- Lt Gen BK Akafia – CDS – First RSO of the unit.
- Maj Gen SA Odotei – Chief of Army Staff.
- WOI Ahmed Ben Dalla - RSM GMA.
- WOI Andrews Tetteh - Head of Presidential Guard (Republic)
- WOI Edward Afful - GMA and B/WKSP RSM.
- WOI Adjetey Mensah - Sp Svc Bde RSM.
- WOI Peter Tweneboah - 2 Inf Bde Gp RSM.
- WOI Harry Ansah - 1 Bn RSM.
- WOI Peter Asante - 49 Engr Regt RSM.
- WOI WA Apambire - 2 Bn & 6 Bn (Promoted Sgt in ten months and WOI six and half years (6 ½ yrs) after training.
- WOI Opoku Justice - 6 Bn RSM.
- WOI Abebrese Timothy - GMP RSM
- WOI Andrew Yaw Collins - 6 Bn RSM.
- SWO Adong-Yure William - 6 Bn RSM & Comd SM N/Comd
- SWO Baafi Samuel - 6 Bn RSM
- SWO Frempah Moses - GAFCSC RSM & Comd SM S/Comd
HISTORY OF OPERATION GONGONG
GONGONG Operations were internal security operations established in the northern region to assist the civil authorities to maintain law and order in the wake of the various civil unrest that took place in the region from 1980 till present. Since 1980, five different civil unrest had taken place and resulted in the lost of lives and properties and lost of control by the civil authorities. The government in attempt to control the situation in each of the unrest brought in military and police reinforcement to restore law and order. The five various interventions by the government from 1980 to date is what is code-named OP GONGONG I-V.
GONJA/VAGLAS CONFLICTS – 1980
This conflict occurred in 1980 due to land disputes and other traditional practises seen by the Vaglas as outmoded. The area of the conflict was Bole capital town of the Bole District. The dominant tribe in the area is Gonja. The Vaglas are the minority tribe who came from Manderi, a village some few kilometres West of Bole. Traditional practises such as a Vagla hunter having to give a hind leg of a bush animal killed to the Bole Chief and the settling of disputes among the vaglas by the Bole chief, moreover the provision of farm produce to the Gonjas as royalty after every farming season were some of the practises the Vaglas Youth considered as outmoded and therefore called for its immediate end. This infuriated the Gonja chief and his elders and war was therefore declared on the Vaglas. This war did not last long as the security agencies and the other Gonja allies were quick to bring the situation under control. The Commanding Officer during this period was Lt Col BB Lorwiah and the contributing units were 6 Bn and the Civil Police.
OPERATION GONGONG I (1990 – 1991)
The Gonja Lands Youth Association, choose Kpandai as a venue for their annual land meeting celebrations. The Nawuris were not in agreement because they were of the view that Kpandai and its environments were not on Gonja land. The Gonja Youth defied the Nawuries protest and went ahead and organised the celebration, which led to a clash between the Gonjas and the Nawuris. 6 Bn, joined by a detachment of recce quickly left for Kpandai and brought the situation under control, as the civil police could not contain the situation. Several lives were lost and buildings burnt. The Commanding Officer was Lt Col EB Sarfo and Lt Andoh, the Pl Comd, now Maj Andoh – DASEC
OPERATION GONGONG I (1980-82)OPERATION GONONG III (1986)
This conflict occurred in Bimbilla and surrounding villages including Wulensi and Lungusi from 1980 – 1982. It was as a result of a misunderstanding that ensued between a Nanumba and a Konkomba man resulting in the death of the Nanumba. The two tribes then mobilised their Forces and were on each other’s neck. The Kokombas, who are very skilful fighters, inflicted severe casualties on the Nanumbas. With the timely intervention of the military and civil police the situation was brought under control. The Commanding Officer during this period was Lt Col J T Peedah. Cpl Koloko Gbanmilla stabbed and killed a soldier while on Peace-keeping duties in Bimbilla during this period through a misunderstanding which ensued between them. Troops that contributed to this conflict were 6 Bn, ABF, Recce Regiment and the Civil Police.
This war started on a market day over a trivial issue. A Bimoba woman bought some Mangoes from a Kokombas woman and asked that some few mangoes be added as bonus and the refusal of the Konkomba woman attracted insults from the Bimoba woman which later turned into physical exchange of blows between the two women. The men on both side later sided with their women and total war was waged in which several lives were lost and many houses burnt. 6 Bn was as usual called upon, as the civil police could not contain the situation. The Commanding Officer during this period was Lt Col Nguah and Lt Adeti was the Pl Commander.
OPERATION GONGONG IV (01 FEB 1994)
On the 1st February 1994, there was a clash between the Konkombas and the Nanumbas as a result of a misunderstanding over the pricing of a guinea fowl. Nakpayili Market, which was the scene of the clash, was quickly burnt down by the Konkombas. The incident at Nakpayili was the last straw, which left loose the enmity between the Nanumbas and the Konkombas. A full-scale war broke out between the two tribes and the Dagombas and Gonjas were roped in to support the Nanumbas against the Konkombas. The conflict spilled over to other districts in the region and some towns in the Volta Region namely:
- Tamale District
- Nanumba District.
- East Gonja District
- Gushiegu/Karaga District
- Saboba/Chereponi District.
- Zabzugu/Tatali District.
- Krachi Nkwanta District (Volta Reg).
- Kete Krachi District (Volta Reg).
- Task Force Commander- Brig Gen JH Smith (Comd Northern Command)
- D/TF Comd - Gp Capt Ayittey (6 Gar Comd) incharge of Admin.
- Two (2) gates of a ruling family (Andanis and Abudus) within the Dagomba ethnic group supply occupant of the Dagbon Skin (Ya-Na) on a rotational basis.
- The late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II was enskinned in 1974. On 24 Mar 02, with the impending annual Bugum (fire) festival at Yendi, the government imposed dusk to dawn curfew on Yendi and its surrounding villages for the fear that the celebration could lead to a clash between members and supporters of the two chieftaincy divides (Andanis and Abudus) as it had been experienced in the past.
- As the day approached for the celebration of the Bugum festival at Yendi, the seat of the Dagbon kinship, the Ya-Na and his elders reportedly received threats from unidentified groups of people to the effect that they were planning to disrupt the festival. Consequently tension started building up in Yendi township thereby prompting the Yendi DISEC to hold an emergency meeting at which it was decided to impose a curfew to forestall any trouble.
- This notwithstanding, an exchange of gun fire broke out between supporters of the two factions in the chieftaincy divide in the town resulting in the gun shot injuries to two people. However, with the intervention of the security personnel, the situation was brought under control.
- In a renewed clash between the factions, Ya-Na and 40 others were killed on Sunday 27 Mar 02 when the palace was overran and razed down.
- In the face of this, a state of emergency was declared in the whole Dagbon State and dust to down curfew was imposed in the entire state of Dagbon. Military and Civil Police reinforcement were deployed in all the key areas to strengthen the existing GONGONG Ops and this was codenamed OP GONGONG (V) YENDI CRISIS.
- A committee of enquiry chaired by Justice Wuaku known as Wuaku Commission was constituted by the Government on 25 Apr 02 to investigate the tragic disturbance which resulted in the death of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani and his elders, and causing considerable injuries to several persons and extensive damage to property.
- The Commission began sitting on 29 Mar 02 and ended on 4 Sep 02 during which 105 witnesses appeared before her. The findings and recommendations in the report of the Commission were presented to the President on 6 Nov 02. As part of the report to the President, the Commission made the following recommendations:
- That as a matter of urgency, the funeral of the formal Ya-Na. Mohammed Abdulai who died in 1988 should be performed in accordance with Dagbon Customs.
- The body of the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II is properly preserved until it is buried according to custom.
- That the Bugum festival be banned until a new Ya-Na is enskinned.
- That the illegal killers of Ya-Na who were identified be arrested and prosecuted for murder.
- Possible clash between the two gates through provocation from either gate.
- Possible rejection of court rule by the unfavourable gate.
- Possible assassination of any of the contestants
- Ensure the security at crossing points at Chache and Insunna.
- Conduct mobile patrols to Saru, Kalba, and Gindabo and within Bole township.
- Conduct operation in support of and in conjunction with the civil Police, BNI, CEPS and Immigration officials.
- Conduct Info gathering on cross border acts of violence and arms smuggling by Ivorian “Force Neauvelle” (FN) rebels. 48. Currently, the detachment has been reinforced to platoon strength, with a section each from 3 Bn 4 Bn and 6 Bn. Calm has since been restored in Bole and its surrounding villages.
At least over 2000 people including women and children were killed, 140 villages were burnt and 150,000 people displaced. Military personnel who were on peace keeping duties during this conflict suffered some casualties: 2/Lt Agbanyo (GH2636) and two OR 175052 Cpl Ayisi Michael (5Bn) and 186116 Cpl Nibo (B/Wksp) were killed whilst on patrols duties at Adamukpe near Salaga. The 4 x 4 Pinz Gauer Reg No 74 GA 02 which was used for the mobile patrols was found completely burnt, with their weapons 3 x G 3 rifles and 1 x pistol missing.
In a later development 2/Lt Gbadagba who was tasked to move to Salaga to convey seized weapons to Tamale during a Cordon and search operation was ambushed and killed. The vehicle on which the weapons were being conveyed came under attack on reaching a very sharp curve with several pot holes. The driver Cpl Osei Bonsu bravely drove the vehicle out of danger thus saving the lives of the escorts on board. Cpl Osei Bonsu was later honoured for gallantry and promoted Sgt. The key officers during the conflict were as follows:
OPERATION GONGONG V (MAR 02)
THE DAGBON CRISIS
The deployment of troops in Yendi in particular and Dagbon Traditional Area (DTA) in general, dates back to 1994 during the Dagomba – Konkomba war. The Yendi skin affairs had been a very long outstanding issue from time immemorial to the people of Dagbon. 33. The Dagbon Conflict in the N/R escalated in March 2002 when the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, the over-lord of the DTA and about 40 of his elders were murdered. The historical background to this conflict could be traced as follows:
CURRENT SITUATION ON YENDI CRISES
As part of the effort on the part of the government in implementing the recommendations made by the Wuaku Commission with a view to resolving the Dagbon Crisis, a three (3) member mediation team otherwise known as Committee of Eminent Chiefs comprising of Nayiri, Na Gamni Mohammed Abdulai, the Paramount Chief of the Mampougu Traditional Area, the Yagbon Wura Bawa Doshie II, the Paramount Chief of the Gonja Traditional Area and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was instituted. A progress report presented by the Committee of the Eminent Chiefs to the government to assist the Dagbon Traditional Council to rebuild the Gbewaa Palace of Yendi which was damaged during the factional violence has since been complied with and a new palace built. However, efforts by the Committee to finding a lasting solution to the core problems in the Dagbon Crisis have yielded no result as both parties have taken entrenched positions and are not ready to come to a compromise. The core problem now is the burial of the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II. Dark clouds however hang over the burial of the late Ya-Na as a couple of meetings held at the Manhyia Palace to remove the roadblock to his burial ended in stalemate. The Andanis referred to a Supreme Court ruling to back their demand for the enskinment of the regent before the burial of the late Ya-Na. The Abudus on the other hand insisted that already there was a regent in Yendi in the person of the Bolin Lana, Abdulai Mahamadu and they feared that if the Andanis were allowed to enskin a regent, the Abudus might not get the chance to perform the funeral of the late Na Mahamadu in the palace. The Andanis contended that Na Mahamadu was deskinned as Ya-Na and even his enskinment was not done according to custom and he could therefore not be recognised as a chief. Moreover, the Abudus questioned the neutrality of the Kuga-Na, the acting president of the Dagbon Traditional Council, in the whole affairs claiming that he was a pure Andani who was not prepared to tell the truth. The Andanis again contended that, although the Supreme Court ruled that Yendi Skin should rotate between the two gates, Ya-Na Andani was murdered by the Abudus and as such the Abudus could not claim the right to occupy the skin. Currently the situation has improved and the state of emergency lifted and troops withdrawn in almost all the key areas except Tamale and Yendi. It is expected that Op GONGONG V (YENDI CRISIS) will remain active pending the burial, funeral and enskinment of a new chief for the Dagombas.
BIMBILLA CHIEFTAINCY AFFAIRS
Troops were deployed at Bimbilla as a result of the 1994 conflict. Peace was returning to Bimbilla until the chieftaincy issue which is lingering on up to date. Bimbilla chieftaincy problem emerged after the death of the late Bimbilla Chief – Na Abarika Attah II in 1999. The main contenders are Andani Dasana and Nakpa-Na Salifu Dawuni. The case is pending in the court. The main threats in Bimbilla include:
Op HUNTER is an Internal Security Operation conducted by the Unit with the primary responsibility of closely monitoring the western corridor of the country especially the Saru and Chache crossing points along the Ghana- Cote d’ Ivoire border. Deployment of troops in Bole for Op HUNTER was necessitated by alleged gun–running activities and serious security breaches recorded in recent times. Notably was the alleged large scale arson, cross – border raid and abduction of the Saru–Wura in the Sawla/Tuna/Kalba District by the “New Forces” rebels from La cote d’ Ivoire on 11 Mar 05.
- Consequently, a section was immediately deployed in Bole with the following task: