The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has denied a story by the Informer newspaper alleging that army personnel deployed to Tamale for this year’s Independence Day celebrations are being subjected to “inhumane treatment”.
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.
In a statement signed by Col. Eric Aggrey-Quashie, Director of Public Relations, the Ghana Armed Forces said the allegations are “palpable falsehoods and do not represent the true state of affairs of our troops deployed in Tamale.”
GAF explained that anticipating the shortage of hotel rooms within Tamale and its environs due to the historic nature of the celebrations for this year, it 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,” the statement said.
Secondly, the GAF said the government has made provisions for the feeding of all personnel deployed in Tamale and troops are being fed three times daily and there has not been any complaint about the quality of food served as being alleged by the newspaper.
The statement further said the allegations that soldiers are being denied their legitimate daily stipends is “a complete lie.” “Soldiers deployed for 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, the government made provisions for each soldier to be given an amount of GHS100 to be used for toiletries. This has been duly disbursed to all ranks,” the statement added.
The GAF has assured all troops under command in particular and the public that the 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.”