Ex-Soldiers Storm Parliament Over Unpaid Pension

Vice Admiral Quarshie, CDS
Angry retired military men yesterday stormed parliament to present a petition to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior requesting the committee to intervene for the government to pay their end-of-service gratuities and allowances, having been compulsorily retired in 2010 by the government.

According to them, since May 2010 when they were compulsorily retired from the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), their gratuities and allowances have not been paid to them; and that several petitions sent to the Ministry of Defence and the top echelon of the Ghana Armed Forces have not yielded any results.

They therefore decided to use parliament as their last resort to prevail on the government to pay their entitlements.

Parliament is currently on recess but members of the Defence and Interior Committee, led by the chairman, Fritz Baffour, were there to receive the petition. Immediately after it was presented, the minister of defence and the top hierarchy of the GAF were invited for an emergency closed door meeting to deliberate on how the issue could be resolved.

Sources close to the retired military men – numbering about 1,700 – claimed that they had already engaged a lawyer and would be dragging the government to court over the matter if nothing concrete was heard from the Defence and Interior Committee by next week.

Members of the committee were tight-lipped over the matter after the closed door meeting, but sources close to the committee told DAILY GUIDE that the Minister of Defence, Dr Benjamin Kunbour, would be addressing the media on Tuesday, August 4, on the issue regarding the step government is taking to address it.

In recent times, the government has come under intense pressure from several professional bodies over unpaid salaries as well as lack of conditions of service for some of them.

Nurses and midwives have given the government up to next month to pay their accumulated salaries from October last year else they will embark on sit-down strike. Newly trained teachers and doctors are also claiming they have not been paid over a period of 12 months, while practising doctors in public health centres have also threatened to resign en-bloc if the government refuses to offer them good conditions of service.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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