The Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has appealed to the Ghana Education Service, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and other stakeholders to sensitise the public on the significance of the wearing of poppy in support of military veterans.
He said, unlike other parts of the world, young people in the country have little or no knowledge of the poppy, hence the need for the relevant agencies to work towards popularising the use of poppy, particularly among pupils and students of public schools.
Launching this year’s Poppy Appeal for Funds in Accra yesterday, he noted that, the welfare and well-being of the veterans, who dedicated their lives to the Service of the country, was a national obligation that cannot be shirked.
“The sponsorship and the wearing of the Poppy are losing their significance in our part of the world. Unlike in Europe, where the wearing of the Poppy takes the centre stage at this time of the year, we in Ghana, especially the young ones, seem to know very little about the Poppy.
I appeal to the Ghana Education Service, NCCE, and the media to assist the Veterans Administration of Ghana (VAG) to popularise the significance of the poppy among the general public, particularly pupils and students of public schools where knowledge of the poppy is almost non-existent,” the Vice President stated.
He called on the public to patronise the poppy, openly wear it and donate to it to enable the Administration to generate lots of funds to execute some projects that would inure to the benefit of the veterans.
Dr Bawumia reiterated government’s commitment to work towards the interests and welfare of the veterans by completing projects and initiating welfare programmes that were necessary to ensure their livelihoods.
Among other interventions, he said the long delays that characterized the process of Widows’ Pension were gradually being resolved through the application of a digitalized software programme.
Also, he stated that, some VAG lands have since been registered with some leases renewed to pave the way for some development projects to take place to rake in sufficient revenues for the running of the Administration.
He noted that plans were far advanced to redevelop the current head office of VAG into complex for economic use to further raise revenue for the group.
Executive Director of VAG, Captain Ben Duah (Rtd) said Ghana, on every November 11 joins the rest of the world to commemorate the death of all those who have sacrificed their lives in the quest for world peace.
The red poppy, he said, was worn as a symbol to remind the world of the horrors of wars and honour those who lost their lives and support those who lost their lives and support those injured in search of peace.
Captain Duah stated that, currently, the membership of VAG stood at 20,000 including some World War II and contemporary war Veterans and military widows.
He explained that the veterans were confronted with long delays the military widows encounter in securing widows pension as well as their healthcare.
Captain Duah stated that, monies realized from the sale of poppies was used in supporting the Administration to live up to its core mandate adding that the amount realised from the sale last year was being used to expand the military clinic at the Amasaman Legion Village to cater for the health needs of the teeming veterans.
He called on corporate organisations and the public to donate towards equipping the clinic, scheduled for completion in March next year, with modern machines to bring relief to veterans and military widows.
BY CLAUD NYARKO ADAMS