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28.02.2005 General News

Veterans mark 28th February Shooting Incident

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Accra, Feb. 28, GNA - The Chairman of the Veterans Association of Ghana, Lieutenant-General Albert K. Ocran (rtd) on Monday appealed to the Government to grant the Veterans' request of tying their pension to that of personnel of the military to enable them to receive their money and other benefits on time. He said it was a passionate desire of all Veterans that their pensions were paid on time to enable them to fend for themselves.

Lt. Gen Ocran said this in an interaction with the media after he had laid a wreath on behalf of the Veterans at the Freedom Monument, Osu, to mark the 57th anniversary celebrations of the 28th February Christianborg Crossroads Shooting incident. Lt. Gen. Ocran said for now they were satisfied with what they received as pension but their wish was to receive it at regular intervals. He also announced that the Legion Village, near the Kotoka International Airport, was to be moved to Amasaman where better accommodation and other amenities had been provided to make life comfortable for the veterans.

The celebration is marked every year to honour three defenceless Ex-Servicemen who were killed in 1948 by the Colonial Government's Police while they were marching to the Osu Castle to present a petition to the then Governor of the Gold Coast. Recounting what led to the shooting incident, Lt. Gen. Ocran said after the two World Wars, the Gold Coast soldiers were cheated and denied any gratuity unlike their British counterparts, who got their retirement, product subsidies and other benefits. He said this agitated the Veterans after persistent appeals to the Governor for similar conditions had fallen on deaf ears.

While marching to the Castle to present a petition to the Governor and Commander-in-Chief, the Ex-Service men were intercepted at the Christianborg Crossroads by a contingent of armed Policemen led by a British Superintendent of Police, Mr Emray, who ordered them to disperse. The Ex-Servicemen disobeyed the order and he gave another order to the Police to open fire but this order was also not complied with. Mr Emray then fired at the Ex-Servicemen killing three of them - Sergeant Adjetey, Lance Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey-Lamptey. News about the shooting and death of the three Ex-Servicemen spread rapidly, leading to a breakdown of law and order.

At the celebrations, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Minister of Defence, laid a wreath on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, while Lieutenant General Seth Obeng, Chief of the Defence Staff, laid one for the Security Services, while Nii Adote Obour, Acting Ga Mantse, laid another on behalf of Traditional rulers.