Let’s celebrate Togbe Afede’s uncommon example - Arthur K.

BY: Isaac Yeboah
Togbe Afede XIV
Togbe Afede XIV

Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy, medical practitioner and one time New Patriotic Party presidential aspirant, has commended highly Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of the Asogli state in Ho for returning what he says is an undeserved ex-gratia to state coffers.

Togbe Afede on Monday issued a statement to explain that an amount of GH¢365.392.57 was paid into his bank account as ex gratia for the four year term he served as a member of the Council of State.

After confirming the payment, he duly returned it to state coffers because he was uncomfortable with it as he deemed it inappropriate to keep the colossal amount as ex gratia for a part time job he did and for which he received monthly salary.

“It was a great honour for me to have served on the Council of State for four years, 2017 to 2020. Even though I served as chairman of one of the three (3) committees of the Council, the Economy and Special Development Initiatives Committee, and participated fully in the Council's activities, I do not think my work merited the payment to me of a colossal sum of GHC365.392.57 as Ex Gratia, in addition the salary I enjoyed from what was effectively a part time job," he recalled telling the Secretary of the Council, and added “I want to add that my rejection of the payment was consistent with my general abhorrence of the payment of huge Ex Gratia and other outrageous benefits to people who have by their own volition offered to serve our poor country.”

It is this act of his that has seen Dr. Arthur K. root for Togbe Afede, saying his example is a good one worthy of emulation.

Read also: Togbe Afede on why he rejected ‘outrageous’ ex-gratia

In a video he shared Tuesday, Arthur K. said regardless of Togbe Afede’s motives for returning the ex gratia, “it is a thing we should celebrate.”

“We do not support good acts (only) because whoever did those acts has always been a saint. I supported Sam Jonah’s comments about our country because what he said was right. I have supported the stance of people for good effects because whatever they did in particular at that time was a good thing.

“As a soccer fan, I have seen Ronaldo miss many scoring chances but when he scores I celebrate… So in the same way we should celebrate what Togbe Afede has done. I am hoping that this will inspire more soul searching and examination of consciences by others who served on the Council of State with him, so that they too can return ex gratia that was undeserved. I hope that this would lead, for example, to soul searching by parliamentarians who’ve gotten ex gratia five or six times, something that you are supposed to get for only one retirement.

And when these things happen, then it will be good for our country, but more to the point, I hope that Togbe Afede’s behaviour and the conversation it has started will lead to an honest re-examination of Article 71 benefits and the fact that it is gradually becoming organized stealing that is morally unjustifiable. I think we should cap it, and I think that we should look at how for example, we ended up paying the spouses of the first and second gentlemen salaries and all those abuses of the retirement benefits system that is going on in our country.”

“Thank you Togbe Afede. Let’s take this chance to make some reforms so our country can move forward. We should praise good things because small good things eventually can lead to big good things. May God bless Togbe Afede, may God bless Ghana. Thank you.”