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Regional News Fri, 25 Jul 2014

Wives of Policemen demand decent retirement packages for husbands

The members of the Northern Regional Branch of the Police Wives Association (POWA) have expressed the utmost regret at the extreme frustration and socio-economic difficulties that confront their husbands (police personnel) after retiring from active service to the state.

According to the women, they have been witnesses to a great number of retired senior police officers in Ghana, who had become so wretched, despondent and miserable in life, due to the government’s inability to prepare a comprehensive and deserving pension package for them.

Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle during a special one-week fasting and prayer session, organised by the POWA members in Tamale to ask for God’s protection for their husbands in the discharge of their duties, the Northern Regional President of the Association, Mrs. Vivian Tang, outlined the risks associated with the work of police officers.

She bemoaned the large numbers of police personnel who had lost their lives, or rendered incapacitated in their service to the state without any proper compensation or state support to their families.

Mrs. Vivian Tang suggested to the government and the Police High Command to set up a special scheme or fund to support the wives of the police personnel to become supportive to their husbands and families during retirement.

“It is so shameful that after our husbands have worked for the state for, let’s say, 30 years or more, they and their families cannot boast of anything. Sometimes, even where to lay their heads, how to pay their children’s school fees, medical bills and other expenses becomes so difficult for them. How! I mean how?” She queried.

She complained about the size of houses provided for the accommodation needs of the police and their families, which, she noted, compounded their frustrations.

In Tamale, for instance, some officers with three to five children live in single rooms, especially, those occupying storey buildings.

The POWA President also suggested to the government to either give housing loans or build affordable houses and sell to the police officers through monthly deductions from their salaries, so that they could also own houses upon retirement.

Mrs. Vivian Tang, however, noted that the formation of the association had enlightened the wives to cope with and support their husbands to reduce their frustrations and emotional traumas emanating from poor conditions of service.

She said most of the women thought their husbands were just being irresponsible for not adequately meeting the demands or the needs of their families (wives and children), but through the meetings and sensitisations, some of them who initially wanted to run away from their marriages with their children, now have different mindsets altogether.

The POWA, according to her, had also helped the wives of the policemen to have one voice, live peacefully with one another, and support each other.

The Head Pastor of the Christian Mission Dunamis Church, Tamale, Rev. Isaac Adjei, who led the fasting and prayer session, commended the women for the vision to come together to support their husbands with prayers.

He assured them that with faithful prayers, God Almighty would transform their husbands and change their economic situation for the better, and make them self-reliant during retirement.

Rev. Adjei, therefore, cautioned the women not to put unnecessary pressure on their husbands, or compound their frustrations by making outrageous demands.

He encouraged the leadership of POWA to build the capacities of its members with employable skills, or encourage them to start some small scale businesses to support their families.

Source: The Chronicle