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Akufo-Addo will not be distracted by Mahama’s comments — NPP

BY: Samuel Duodu
 Richard Ahiagbah —  Communications Director of the NPP
Richard Ahiagbah — Communications Director of the NPP

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will not be distracted by the recent commentaries by former President John Mahama on the Article 71 officeholders’ emoluments and other matters arising.

“As a party, we believe Mahama’s Article 71 misrepresentations, the unmerited attacks on President Akufo-Addo and the NPP government and the Judiciary, among others, are part of the National Democratic Congress’s (NDC’s ) plot to sidetrack this administration from the heavy lifting it is doing to improve conditions for Ghanaians in these trying times,” it said.

“We can assure Mahama and the NDC that the NPP Akufo-Addo-led government will focus on its manifesto promises to develop Ghana,” the party said.

Press briefing

Addressing the media in Accra last Wednesday, the national Communications Director of the NPP, Richard Ahiagbah, said the event was to expose the insincerity, inconsistency and lack of seriousness of former President Mahama about governance issues.

He said the government’s flagship projects were being vigorously implemented and that the government was focused to bring Ghana’s economy back to its pre-COVID-19 growth trajectory.

“To this end, we humbly ask for all Ghanaians’ support to advance this economic regeneration project for Ghana,” the NPP Communication Director said.

Article 71

Touching on the issues raised by former President Mahama on Article 71, Mr Ahiagbah said Mr Mahama’s position on the repeal of Article 71 was inconsistent with the opportunities he had to amend it when he was the Vice-President and President between 2009 and 2017.

He stated that based on the above, former President Mahama had every opportunity to repeal Article 71 as President, but he failed to do so, hence his posturing to the Article 71 issues that when given the political opportunity he would amend it were all political gimmicks to hoodwink the electorate to vote for him.

Buttressing his point, Mr Ahiagbah quoted from the white paper on the Constitution Review Commission an item captured under issue eight: Determination of the Conditions of Service of Some Public Officers by the President.

“Government accepts the recommendation that an Independent Emoluments Commission should be established to determine the salaries, allowances and emoluments of all public officers, from the President to the lowest ranking public officer.”

“Mahama became President in 2012, barely a year after the acceptance of the recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission. All former President Mahama needed to do was to present a draft bill to parliament, per Article 290 (2), to trigger the amendment process. But as the talk master general, former President Mahama did not act on the white paper.

Instead, he ignored the white paper to create and benefited from emolument committees—two of them,” Mr Ahiagbah stated.

“So, from all indications, former President Mahama loves the Article 71 provisions because he preserved it for himself, when he got the golden opportunity to repeal it.”

Failure

“In other words, what former President Mahama is saying today cannot be taken seriously because he has already failed Ghanaians on this matter,” he said.

“However, if former President Mahama wants to be taken seriously, he should go ahead and repudiate all the Article 71 benefits he had gladly enjoyed from 2013 to date.”

“But trust me, former President Mahama will not renounce these benefits because he enjoys them,” he stated further.

The NPP Communications Director also debunked the assertion made by Mr Mahama that he took care of his expenses as a former President during an interview on TV3 last Monday.

“We have evidence of correspondence between former President Mahama’s office and the Chief of Staff contradicting his claims.”