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Aliu Mahama cries for ex-gratia


2009-10-26 23:06:12
This article has been read 811 times.


Former VP
Former vice-president Alhaji Aliu Mahama has tapped the Mills administration to expedite the release of end of service benefits (ESBs) due ex-government officials.

In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Joy FM’s Seth Kwame Boateng, Alhaji Aliu Mahama said the delay in the payments of emoluments to the ex-officials stokes the feeling that they are “missing something.”


Alhaji Mahama’s comments come months after a committee appointed by President Mills to investigate ex-gratia benefits approved by the Justice Mary Chinery-Hesse Committee on Emoluments for former President Kufuor and other ex-officials in the previous government concluded its work.

The emoluments packages had drawn bitter public criticisms and condemnation over what many thought were unusually high costs for the taxpayer to bear, leading to the investigations.

The former vice-president under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration ridicuuled public suspicions that ex-government and political office holders usually have access to cash they might have illegally stashed away to cushion them while out of power and for which reason they may not need their ESBs after all.

“Who doesn’t need money? We all need money and it is not like somebody has piled some money somewhere and will not be bothered about what is due him,” Alhaji Aliu lamented.

“It is something that has to come so we hope the new government will do something about it as soon as possible. It’s not affecting me alone; it is affecting a whole lot of people.”

Alhaji Mahama hailed the existence of ESBs, suggesting they are essential to bring “comfort” to ex-officials as well as quell likely temptations to forcibly return to power.

The former vice-president threw a word of caution to the Mills-led administration to take action on ESBs for ex-officials, noting that the current government could also go into opposition and find itself “in the same situation.”

He was also unhappy about President Mills’ decision to review the benefits, stressing, Parliament had considered and endorsed it.

Alhaji Aliu Mahama also revealed that he did not anticipate the NPP's electoral loss in the last elections, especially in the face of what he said had been the “good works” of the Kufuor government.

“We thought that based on the good works of Kufuor’s administration, the good works that we had done, Ghanaians would give us the needed support,” he said.

He would however not describe the Ghanaian electorate as ungrateful but rather "the best [judges]."

Presidential ambition

Alhaji Mahama would not disclose whether he would be gunning for the hot seat of flag-bearer of the NPP come 2012 but said he was focusing on uniting the biggest opposition party in Ghana.

He said although he is not certain about his presidential ambitions yet he would not dismiss the possibility of pursuing that idea.

"Once in politics, you're always a politician and you can never rule out any opportunity that will come on your way," he said.

source: myjoyonline.com

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