Ex-gratia Payments, Atta Mills Must Take Responsibility for Inaction!

Mon, 9 Feb 2009 Source: Poku, Kojo

We have always suspected the complicity of the new administration led by John Evans Atta Mills in the outrageous and “thievery” package approved under the cover of the darkness for the “pigs” who ruled the farm, oh yes, the animal farm called Ghana, because of the action or inaction of Mills and company! Since the announcement of the “Nicodemus” package ( we are not sure which president signed to make it lawful), Ghanaians across all spectrums of life and political affiliation has come out and CONDEMNED the package except the new president, John Evans Atta Mills , his Vice-President, John Mahama and the architect of the immoral package, former president John Agyekum Kufour. President Mills has been stone silent on the despicable issue! At the time of this write-up, Mills has not issued any condemnation or at least assured Ghanaians that he will reexamine the issue and if the law permits revoke it and put in place a more acceptable retirement package for our former presidents, parliamentarians and Ghanaian workers in general.

Today, almost one month after the atrocious and outrageous benefits was approved by the lame duck third Republic parliament in its dying minutes, we are being told that an appointee of president Mills, Moses Asaga, has approved the initial 20 million US dollars of the package for disbursement! The questions we ask are:

Do president Mills stand to benefit in the future of the shameful package? Yes you bet!

Why was Mills still unspoken about a package that was vehemently and by and large condemned by Ghanaians?

Why would an appointee and close associate and confidant of Mills, who also doubles as the chairman of the finance committee of parliament approve payment of the money if he is aware his boss does not approve of it?

Is President Mills not aware that Moses Asaga being chairman of the parliamentary Finance Committee has the power to sign for the disbursement of the said retirement packages and what did him, Mills, do TO STOP IT BEFORE IT HAPPENED?

Did Moses Asaga misconstrue the President’s stone silence on the issue to be his (the president’s) acquiescence or tacit approval of the thievery package? How can Ghana, a third world and HIPIC country afford to pay its former presidents more than a developed country like the USA ,with over a trillion dollar annual budget ?

If we can pay our former presidents more than the rich countries pay their former presidents, can we also pay our workers and citizens’ benefits and salaries paid to ordinary workers in these countries? An average of 7 dollars an hour for the lowest paid worker?

We voted for Atta Mills to lead and make hard and good choices; and also uphold justice on behalf of the good people of Ghana. We least expected that he would not stand up against the status quo when he sees an injustice! We least expected that president Mills would crawl in his shell in the face of such thievery meted out on the good people of Ghana by the NPP and worse of all use his, Mills, surrogates to complete the act of the perpetrators! An act we strongly feel benefits Mills in the future hence his silence and use of his surrogates to complete the shameful deal!

Ghanaians were weary of politics as usual that was why they replaced the arrogant and corrupt NPP government with the NDC but as we can see now, the NDC is quickly metamorphosing into the same colours that sent them into opposition 8 years ago…insensitive to the will and wishes of the good people of Ghana!

At a time the whole world is plunging into the largest financial meltdown ever known to mankind, and no one is sure of how much this global catastrophe will affect the economies and lives of its citizens , why should we shower this opulence on our past leaders when majority of the people who elected these politicians are working hard but wallowing in abject poverty and are fervidly against it!

News from our dear country is filled with heart wrenching stories. Poverty is preventing people of Asante Akim South from pursing justice, poverty preventing people from eating a square meal a day. Malaria is kills a Ghanaian child every minute but Ghanaians cannot afford a $10 mosquito net that could save their lives! HIV/AIDS kills one Ghanaian every I hour because majority of the patients cannot afford retroviral medications to make them live a better and productive life. Thousands of Ghanaians sleep at the railway stations across the country, and millions sleep on streets, classrooms and anywhere. Parents cannot afford to take their children to school because it's too expensive whereas a good scholarship can see a child in the village through college. Our roads are death traps. Farmers, fishermen and workers barely make it to the end of the month. Our people cannot afford to drink good potable water. Our police officers do not have the necessary equipment to fight crime so armed robbers are having a field day in our country; freely roaming, killing and terrorizing our people! Our hospitals and Health centers has also become death camps due to lack of necessary equipment and supplies, our schools lack text books and school supplies.

Atta Mills and his cabinet must act fast and prudently to correct the injustice meted out to Ghanaians under the cover of darkness and approved surreptitiously by his, president Mills, friends!


Columnist: Poku, Kojo