The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has charged the Ministry of Defence to release GH¢200,000 towards the welfare of members of the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG).
Per the President’s instruction, the veterans had served Ghana well and distinguished themselves at the cost of their lives, for which reason they had secured a special place within the scheme of national life and deserved to be honoured.
The President’s package was announced by the Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, at the 69th anniversary of the 28th February Christianborg Crossroads Shooting at Osu in Accra yesterday.
VAG is an entity of former servicemen and women of the Gold Coast Regiment and the Ghana Armed Forces.
About the event
The February 28, 1948 shooting incident is celebrated every year in honour of three defenceless ex-servicemen — Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Patrick Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey — who were gunned down by the colonial police while they were marching peacefully to the Christianborg Castle to present a petition to the then governor.
The soldiers had fought in the Second World War and, on their return to the country, certain promises made to them had not been fulfilled, which necessitated their peaceful march to present a petition to the governor.
A wreath was laid by the President on behalf of the government and people of Ghana, while the security services, traditional rulers and VAG laid wreaths on behalf of their respective entities.
The sacrifices made by veterans
Addressing the veterans after the wreath-laying ceremony in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said there was the need to acknowledge the sacrifices that the veterans made, without which Ghana would not have attained its independence as early as it did.
He said the crisis brought about by the senseless shooting of the three ignited the country and led to the arrest of the Big Six and the formation of the Watson Commission, leading eventually to the country’s independence.
“So this day is a sacred day for Ghanaian freedom and independence and I thought that I should come here and reiterate to you the gratitude of succeeding generations of Ghanaians for the sacrifices that men of your association made for the cause of Ghana,” he added.
Honouring the nation’s heroes
While expressing appreciation to personnel of the security agencies, the President said the people of Ghana were grateful for the difficult work that they did in securing the peace and protecting lives.
He said in spite of the fact that not so much had been given to them by way of support yet, they continued to do their work selflessly and with unparalleled dedication.
Nana Akufo-Addo said he had been informed about a request for a guest house to be constructed for the VAG and promised to tackle that request.
He said although currently the financial circumstances of the nation were not the best, he would see how best the government could respond to the request.