Former President John Dramani Mahama is indebted to some National Democratic Congress (NDC) members he failed to pacify, the reason he wants to become president again to sort them out.
This is according to the Bono Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwame Baffoe (alias Abronye DC).
Addressing a press conference on September 19, Abronye DC stated that the former president’s claim that he will scrap payment of ex-gratia was blatantly false.
According to him, the promise is more of a political gimmick meant to deceive Ghanaians to vote for him if he contests in the 2024 elections.
He opined that John Mahama has already given his blessing to the payment of ex-gratia, citing the constitutional review committee White Paper.
“Article 278 dictates that the commission is to present a report to the president after its work, for the president to issue a White Paper. Mahama was in the cabinet when the White Paper was issued. He and Atta Mills agreed that Article 71 which makes it possible for the payment of ex-gratia is a good thing so a commission is to be empowered to recommend payment of ex-gratia every four years.
“This is a White Paper which issued by Mahama and JEA Mills on 1st June 2012. He has already given ex-gratia his blessing but because he wants Ghanaians’ vote, he has come out publicly to say he will change it,” he said
Abronye DC added that the former president will pay ex-gratia to persons who are undeserving of it when he comes back to power.
“John Dramani Mahama has said he owes some NDC people which is why he wants to come back to power to help the NDC people he was unable to help during his tenure. If he is deceiving Ghanaians using ex-gratia, it is not because of the nation that he wants to come back.
“He owes some NDC people. So when he comes, he will start giving end-of-service benefits to people such as National Youth Organizers of the party till the end of his four-year term,” he added.
Abronye DC has alleged that former President Mahama took ex-gratia of GH¢14 million in 2013 and GH¢15 million in 2017, a claim the former president has denied.
He alleged that the former president took the GH¢14 million ex-gratia through his Agricultural Development Bank Account and that he (Mahama) also received retirement benefits including his salaries, accommodation allowances, travel allowances, and salaries of his staff that summed up to GH¢15 million.
But Mahama has denied the GH¢14 million and has also said that he does not receive his full retirement benefits.
“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 ex-president said in a TV3 interview last week.