The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has refuted a media reports that alleged that army personnel deployed to Tamale for this year’s Independence Day celebrations are being subjected to “inhumane treatment”.
In a response to the story published by the Informer newspaper, the GAF assured that it will continue to seek the interest and welfare of all troops under command and therefore the report by the newspaper must be discarded with the “contempt that it deserves.”
According to the story, the troops have no beds to sleep on, and are “packed into tents like sardines, with no proper ventilation, a situation raising concerns of possible health crisis”.
Again, the newspaper published that the food being served the troops is of poor quality and being rationed to the displeasure of the soldiers.
Additionally, the paper published that the soldiers are being denied their daily stipends, causing uneasy calm and despondency among them.
The statement signed by Colonel Eric Aggrey-Quashie, Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces in reacting to the story said the allegations are “palpable falsehoods and do not represent the true state of affairs of our troops deployed in Tamale.”
Below is a copy of the statement
RE: AKUFO-ADDO STARVES, MALTREATS SOLDIERS
The attention of the Ghana Armed Forces has been drawn to the 4th March 2019 edition of the Informer newspaper with the above quoted headline. The story alleges that troops of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) who have been deployed in Tamale for this year’s historic Independence Day Celebrations are being subjected to “inhumane treatment”.
Specifically, the story mentioned that our troops have no beds to lay their heads on and are “packed into tents like sardines, with no proper ventilation, a situation raising concern of possible health crisis”.
Again, the newspaper alleges that the food being served the troops of GAF is of poor quality and is being rationed to the displeasure of the soldiers. Additionally, it alleges that the soldiers are being denied their daily stipends, raising uneasy calm and despondency among the troops.
The Ghana Armed Forces wishes to state categorically that all the above allegations being made by the Informer newspaper are palpable falsehoods and do not represent the true state of affairs of our troops deployed in Tamale.
First of all, anticipating the shortage of hotel rooms within Tamale and its environs due to the historic nature of the celebrations for this year, GAF made arrangements for large Rubb hall tents which are fully air-conditioned with mattresses, for use by the troops. It must be noted that soldiers sleeping in tents is nothing new and done all over the world, Ghana being no exception.
Additionally, Field shower units have been installed and mobile toilets provided. Supply of drinking water, basic medical support and other administrative assistance are all in place.
Secondly, we wish to place on record that government has made provision for the feeding of all our personnel deployed in Tamale and troops are being fed three times daily-breakfast, lunch and supper and there has not been any complaint about quality of food served as being alleged by the newspaper.
The allegation that soldiers are being denied their legitimate daily stipends is also a complete lie. Soldiers deployed ceremonial duties such as taking part in independence anniversary celebrations or Guard of Honour are not paid any stipends. It is part of our normal activities that we carry out in support of the State.
However, government made provisions for each soldier to be given an amount of One hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢100) to be used for toiletries. This has been duly disbursed to all ranks.
We wish to advise the Informer newspaper to desist from such negative publications that has the tendency to lower the morale of troops and to question the care High Command of GAF has for its personnel. Journalistic norms also required that the Public Relations Directorate of GAF was contacted to either confirm or deny such malicious fabrication against a noble institution such as GAF.
Finally, we wish to assure all troops under command in particular and the general public that Government and the Military High Command will continue to seek their interest and welfare and must discard such publications with the contempt that it deserves.
Director Public Relations