The Mills and Mahama administrations in the last eight years treated former president John Agyekum Kufuor “very badly” as far as the ex-president’s entitlement to a home was concerned, Minister-designate of Information Mustapha Hamid has said.
Parrying criticism that President Nana Akufo-Addo and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) did not treat immediate former president John Mahama well in connection with his request to keep the current state property he occupies as part of his retirement package, Mr Hamid retorted: “This president has done very well as opposed to, for example, how President Kufuor was treated. To this day President Kufuor doesn’t have the house that he deserved, and for the eight years the NDC was in office, they didn’t care about President Kufuor, they treated him very badly. But in our case we were prepared to even think about the request. …I mean that was kind on our part, so, I think that now that he (Mr Mahama) has withdrawn that request, we should just leave it at that.”
According to Mr Hamid, whose nomination was announced on Thursday, 12 January, ex-President Mahama’s rescission of his earlier request saved President Nana Akufo-Addo some headache.
Mr Mahama, following a public backlash after his request was made public, as well as a denial by the new government of there being an agreement between the two administrations for him to continue living in the property, wrote to Mr Akufo-Addo to rescind his interest.
He said in his letter: “I refer to our agreement on the above subject matter and wish to inform you that I have decided to formally withdraw both requests to continue to stay at my current place of residence, No. 3. Prestige Link, Cantonments and also to use bungalow No. 6, 3rd Avenue, Ridge, as my office.”
“It would appear that these requests threaten to mar the spirit of cooperation with which we as co-chairs of the Joint Transition Team have managed the smooth transfer of power from my administration to yours. I believe that this controversy is absolutely not needed in these early days as your Government settles into office.
“I do recognise that these are facilities that are conventionally extended to Presidents that leave office and I am also mindful of the approval by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana on Wednesday, 4th January, 2017 at its Twenty-Second Sitting of the Third Meeting of the Fourth Session.
“You will recall, Mr President that contrary to the erroneous impression created by some persons in Government and the interpretation given to the formal letter submitted on my behalf by Mr. Julius Debrah, this was a follow up to an agreement we had on my choice of accommodation and office. I had never requested to purchase the property.
My request is, therefore, humbly withdrawn.
“As always, my family and I wish you well in your endeavors as you strive to consolidate and advance the gains made by successive Governments.”
Speaking to the issue on the Point Blank segment of Eyewitness on Accra-based Citi FM on Thursday, Mr Hamid told Richard Dela Sky that: “Every president or former president deserves a decent settlement. This former president [Mr Mahama] said he wanted this particular type of settlement, that was a huge matter, it’s not the kind of decision that the president takes on the spur of the moment, so, while he [Mr Akufo-Addo] was at it, thinking through and seeking the relevant counsel and so on as to what to do, then the former president brings a letter and says: ‘I have withdrawn, so, it saves him [Mr Akufo-Addo] the headache of the consultative processes and happen to come to a decision, that’s what happened.”
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