General News of Fri, 30 Jan 20040

President gives to World War Two Veterans

Accra, Jan 30, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday presented items worth 3.5 million cedis to 25 surviving veterans of World War Two at the Legion Village in Accra.

The items included a cow, two bags of rice and three gallons of cooking oil.

Mr Frank Mpare, Chief Director of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), presented the items on behalf of President John Agyekum Kufuor. Mr Mpare told the Veterans that the Government recognized the sacrifice they made when they fought to defend Ghana and to keep world peace.

He said that the Government would make sure that retired service personnel were properly catered for and that programmes were being put in place to ensure that soldiers lived better lives after retirement. Mr Mpare said Government would soon come out with programmes to satisfy their needs, particularly increments in their allowances. "Government is still interested in you and Ghana is thankful for your services", Mr Mpare told them.

There are about 4,000 war veterans spread throughout the country. The 25 beneficiaries of the President's package are those who live at the Legion Village.

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Although, Ex-Private Kofi Tawiah, who received the items on behalf of the Veterans, told the Chief Director and those who accompanied him that the package would not solve their problems.

He said that the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG) had abandoned them to their fate, saying: "They don't look after us." Ex-Private Tawiah said: "We have to be given rations every morning but this has been denied us."

Ex-Private Tawiah then handed over a letter containing their grievances to the Chief Director to be forwarded to the Queen of England, demanding that an envoy be sent to Ghana to take him there to complain personally about the plight of the Veterans, who fought for Britain in the World War II

The other Veterans appealed to the Government to look into their plight and increase their monthly stipend to commensurate with the present economic situation.

Group Captain Fred Twum-Danso, the Ghana Armed Forces Director of Veterans Affairs and Major Henry Okine, Director of Administration of VAG accompanied Mr Mpare.

Source: GNA

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