A Deputy Chief of Staff under former President John Mahama, Dr. Valerie Sawyerr says the government must emulate how former President Mahama treated former Presidents including John Agyekum Kuffour.
Her call comes on the back of the controversies surrounding Mahama’s benefits under Article 71 after his[Mahama] contention on being denied his entitlements as a former statesman by the Akufo-Addo-led administration.
The director of communications of the NPP, Richard Ahiagbah at a press conference confronted the claims made by the former President insisting he lied.
“The former President has told blatant lies. We have assembled relevant documents that prove that the former President lied and that, contrary to his claims, he has indeed been enjoying privileges due him.”
Commenting on the fallout from the matter, the former deputy Chief of Staff said it’s shameful that simple constitutional requirements have been disregarded with impunity by President Akufo-Addo and his Chief of Staff, Frema Opare.
“It is a blatant untruth for the Akufo-Addo Government to say that they have been paying the rent for President John Mahama’s Cantonments office. It is a brazen falsehood for Akufo-Addo’s Government to say that they have been negotiating or engaging in talks with President John Mahama for an office for him.
“The shame goes to President Akufo-Addo and to his Chief of Staff, Frema Opare. I mention Frema’s name, specifically, because at her level in government there are a number of matters she deals with that do not come to the attention of the President.”
“If she is competent, she will have a list in front of her of the emoluments of ex-presidents and their spouses. She should know, off the cuff, what President John Mahama is entitled to and should be ticking the items off one after the other as soon as the constitutional commitments have been fulfilled. Unless of course, she is following orders from President Akufo Addo to violate the laws of the land,” Madam Sawyerr stated.
She said the government ought to take a cue from how the Mahama government treated ex-President Kufuor regarding his entitlements.
“Ask Papa (President Kufour) if we ever disrespected him in this way. Indeed, he accepted an office, which we fully furnished. He labelled it as his temporary office and directed that we get him a permanent office. He inspected the location for the permanent office himself and confirmed that he liked it,” the former policy advisor narrated.
She continued: “He sent us architectural drawings and we built it from scratch to his specifications, despite a tight financial situation. When you act like this, it provokes comparisons that disturb the well-deserved peace of our ex-presidents.”