VAG Board inaugurated

Dr Benjamin Kumbour (right),Minister of Defence inaugurating the Veterans association board into office.The Minister of Defence, Dr Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor, yesterday inaugurated a 13-member Board of Directors for the Veteran Administration of Ghana (VAG).

The board, which is the first of its kind, is charged with the responsibility of formulating policies for the general maintenance of veterans who served in the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Forces or the Ghana Armed Forces and have been honourably released.

It has Commodore Steve Obimpeh (rtd) as the chairman.

Dr Kunbuor expressed the need to promote the welfare of retired military persons to show gratitude to them for their sacrificial service.

This, he said, also had the additional effect of giving assurance to military persons “who are still in active service to give of their best for mother Ghana”.

The minister expressed concern that “going on retirement was associated with going home to die”, underscoring the need to appropriately promote the welfare of military personnel who had risked their lives for the country.

Dr Kunbuor said every profession had its own risks with varying degrees of danger, but noted that members of the military profession were distinguished from those of other professions by “the unlimited liability they assume in their oaths of office”.

“It is only the members of the Armed Forces who, within their conditions of service and for the country’s sake, can be ordered to place their lives in peril anywhere at any time,” the minister said.

He said the board had been constituted with the VAG Act 844, 2012 which seeks to put all honourably retired military personnel into organised groups across the country to promote their welfare and keep alive camaraderie among them and with their counterparts internationally.

“I expect all of you to work as one unit in line with the Act under which you are being established, since your main function is to facilitate the realisation of the purpose for which the Act exists.”

Dr Kunbuor urged the members to bring to bear their varying experiences in public service on the performance of the board “so that your tenure will see visible positive effects on their lives”.

The Outgoing Deputy Minister of Defence and Minister of Health designate, Alex Segbefia, urged the board to embark on a sustained public campaign to promote “Poppy Day” (remembrance day), and the patronage of poppies to generate revenue for the veterans.

Commodore Obimpeh assured that the board would approach its work with commitment and determination to ensure the welfare of veterans and their spouses, especially the aged, the disabled, and the sick.

Other members of the board are Group Capt P.D. Asafo, Ag Director Veterans Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Colonel A. Ansu, Deputy Director General, Personnel Administration, General Headquarters, GAF; Captain P. D.Asafo, Acting Director of Veteran Affairs; Col M.K.G Asante, Director, Legal Services, GHQ; and Col. R.W. Bosrotsi (rtd), VAG Volta Region Chairman.

The rest are Ex-W.O. I Robert N.S. Kuma, VAG Greater Accra Region Chairman; Ex-CPO I. A. Osei-Bonsu, VAG Western Region Chairman; Ex-WO I Imoru Haruna, VAG Northern Region Chairman; Ex W.O.II M. Agyeman-Dankwah, VAG Ashanti Region Chairman; Mr Lawrence Ofori-Addo, Deputy Director, Social Protection, Ministry. of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Col. G.A. Biah (rtd); Lt. Col. Mary Akuamoah (rtd), Minister’s female nominee; and Col C.A.O. Nutakor (rtd), Executive Director, VAG HQ.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

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