A former National Political Activist, James Kwabena Bomfeh has dared former President John Dramani Mahama to give up his emoluments and other perks linked to his ex gratia.
The former President recently granted an interview to TV3 and claimed aside from his monthly pension, he hasn’t been paid his emoluments and other privileges.
“I receive only my monthly pension, like President Kufuor or President Rawlings was receiving until he died. That is all I get.
“I pay the electricity bill for my house, for my office. I pay the water bill for my house and my office. I live in my accommodation so the state does not pay me anything for accommodation.
“They haven’t given me an office, I rent an office in East Cantonments, I pay the rent myself, I pay for my own fuel, the state doesn’t give me fuel. I pay my own domestic staff, I pay my own medical bills. I pay for my own air tickets when I travel,” the former President said.
Mr. John Mahama, also in a recent public event, pledged the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration will review Article 71 which backs the payment of ex gratia.
“I want to assure all Ghanaians that the next NDC administration, as I have recently said, will revisit the matter of Article 71 emoluments, especially the issue of ex gratia payments and the size of government, to cut down on expenditure as a way of protecting our scarce resources”, he said.
But James Kwabena Bomfeh, who is currently the Editor of National Forum newspaper, slammed the former President for not coming clear on his stance on the payment of ex gratia and emoluments to Article 71 office holders.
Responding to Mr. Mahama’s remarks during “Kokrokoo” show on Peace FM, he asked; “What do you stand for? Constitutionalism, rule of law, democracy or what?”
Mr Bomfeh believed the former President had a golden opportunity to amend the constitution since it was during his tenure as Vice President, and subsequently President of the Republic, that a Constitutional Review Committee was set up, but he failed to implement the Committee’s recommendations.
“I want to remind His Excellency, the former President [that] if there was anybody who had the golden opportunity as President to amend, review or alter any provision in this constitution, you were the one.”
“Mr. former President, sincerely, are you telling me that if you meant and you stood for something that you are claiming today you stand for, four years and half; between July 24, 2012 and January 6, 2017, you set up a Constitutional Review Implementation Committee…but you didn’t effect the changes”, he stated.
Kabilla challenged the former President to follow the example of Togbe Afede and relinquish his emoluments and privileges “if it is indeed his commitment that the emoluments and so forth should be cancelled”.
“…he should forgo them now. Togbe Afede set an example recently by giving back some money he was entitled to; former President John Dramani Mahama can do same if he’s committed and he stands for something.”