Ex-gratia: Why do we allow greedy people to lead debates in Ghana? – Prof Gyampo
Political Scientist Professor Ransford Gyampo has said that the call on former President John Mahama to refund his exgratia payments for promising to do away with exgratia payments when he becomes President is cheap and disingenuous, wondering why in Ghana a few greedy not-so-smart people are allowed to lead important debates with the support of the media.
Former President John Mahama had promised to cancel exgratia payments to article 71 workers when he gets the chance to lead the country again. But in reaction some people, notably Dan Kweku Yeboah, a sports journalist, asked that he refund all exgratia payments he had received in the past to show that he was committed to implementing the promise.
Commenting on the matter, Prof Gyampo supported the cancellation and took critics of John Mahama on.
“After enjoying it in the past, I am sure President Mahama has heard the criticisms that have been leveled against recipients and he is now vowing to discontinue such an arrangement. I am of the view that we should rather be applauding such a bold resolve whose implementation would require serious constitutional hurdles to be scaled over.
Unfortunately it appears the discourse on this is being led or shaped by a few greedy politicians who want to keep enjoying the dissipation of our meager resources on the unwarranted payment of pension to themselves every four years. Their argument in calling on President Mahama to refund his already used ex-gratia, to my mind, is quite cheap and disingenuous.
Legislations and policies do not take retrospective effect and this is a basic or elementary A.V. Dicey principle on rule of law. I do not honestly understand why in this country, we tend to allow a few not too smart people to lead very important debates with the support of the media. This hasn’t helped our democratic maturity and it is certainly a serious affront to our quest to extricate ourselves from the quagmires of poverty and under-development,” he stated.
Prof Gyampo, using several scenarios, explained why former President Mahama’s promise is valid and justified and why calls for refunds are untenable.