Retired military officers demand unpaid pension benefit

About 50 Ghanaian retired military officers on Wednesday besieged the country’s veteran’s cemetery to demand the release of their end of service benefit as the world observed Veterans Day.

The group led by ex-WO1 Joseph Tei, marched to the precinct of the cemetery where a short ceremony was being held in remembrance of the country’s war veterans claiming the Ghana Armed Forces has failed to pay them their entitlement totaling GHC850,000

Chanting war songs, the group insisted they were given the opportunity to enter the cemetery to lay wreath and present their case at the ceremony which was attended by Vice President John Dramani Mahama but they were denied entry.

Officials of the Ghana Police and the Army at the ceremony impressed on the group to retreat which the group obliged but got incensed when some armed police and military officers were deployed to the grounds to disperse them.

The retired men then started surging forward as they dared the armed personnel to fire at them, insisting what they are fighting for is for posterity. But the leader of the army, Colonel Yakubu quickly ordered his men to retreat.

Meanwhile, according to the retired soldiers, several communications and pleas to the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ministry of have not yielded any results. They claimed on May 31 and July 22 petitioned the Defence Ministry and the Finance Ministry but are yet to get a response from them.

They accused Defence Ministry of taking GHC850,000 from the Finance Ministry on their behalf but paid them only GHC14,000, insisting that they have exhausted all avenues to get the rest of money but to no avail.

In a related development, some war veterans at the ceremony renewed their appeal to the government to provide them with a befitting remuneration. The old soldiers say they have been struggling over the years to feed their families

According to the surviving war veterans, they have been neglected by the government

As part of the event, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection opted to register all the veterans on the national health insurance scheme.

By Peter Adattor||Ghana

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