Thursday, 17 September 2015

Dr. Nkrumah's Driver Demand Unpaid Compensation

Mr. Jonathan K. Ahulu
 Driver of  Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
After 7 years of driving the first lady of the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Mr. Jonathan Kwashie Ahulu has revealed that he has been robbed of his retirement benefit by the state protocol office.
Recounting his ordeal to the Republic Newspaper, the 87-year-old assistant chief driver at the state protocol during Kwame Nkrumah’s administration explained that after serving the state for over 20 years as assistant chief driver and 7 years as a protocol driver for the late Fathia Nkrumah, he was never given his Ghc1500.00 (15 million old cedis) retirement package which was due him when he officially retired from active service in 1988.

A tearful Mr. Ahulu explained that till now, he has not received any benefit both in kind or cash after serving the nation for over 20 years in his capacity as the assistant chief driver.

He also revealed that when the time was due to receive his benefits, an imposter within the state protocol connived with the authorities to “sit on my retirement benefit,
and when I decided to dig into the matter, state protocol office arrested and detained me at the Somanya Police Station, and later transferred to Akuse Police Station for fraud,” he recounted as he tried to keep his countenance.

He said he was forced by his then directors to refund the Ghc1500 (15 million cedis) money he never received; before he was released from prison.

As to how he was released from prison, he said his children had to go for a loan to pay back the benefit he never received to the state protocol office.

At age 87, Mr. Ahulu recalled his first encounter with the first lady; “I picked her up from the airport to the state house upon her second return to Ghana in 1975 after the death of her husband; crowds lined the streets as we cruised through what was then the main Makola market. The market women presented her with wax print fabrics,” he reminisced.

He also stated that his years as Fathia’s protocol driver drew him much closer to the then First family, “the bond grew much stronger when her children couldn’t stay at the boarding house of Achimota School, so I was made to always drive them back and forth between school and home”.

“I remember driving her to the airport in 1978 when she left the shores of Ghana for New York to receive a gold medal awarded to her late husband at the United Nations headquarters; and I was also there to pick her when she returned from her trip,” Mr. Ahulu recounted with watery eyes.

According to him, his official duty as Mrs. Fathia Nkrumah’s protocol driver was so demanding to the point that he had to totally abandon his family to concentrate on his work, so he can render the best of services to the First family of the land, “but after 7 years with Fathia and 20 years for the state, I retired as a pauper. I never received any benefit or recognition whatsoever, and I had to struggle through life to raise my children”.

Mr. Ahulu currently resides at Dodowa with his wife, Mrs. Beatrice Ahulu, 72 years of age, children and grandchildren.

He has 12 children comprising six boys and six girls, three of whom are triplets his wife gave birth to during his final months of retirement.

He stated further that he took to cocoa farming when things got tough and he has been surviving on his cocoa farm ever since he came on retirement.

He lamented that he was ill-treated by the state protocol office and is urging the government to look critically into his case and give him the compensation he worked tirelessly for.

He advised the current crop of drivers to “make hay while the sun shines,” so that they would not find themselves financially wanting in their old age.