The irony in the coup enthusiasts' disposition: Who benefits from coup d’états?

The NDC And NPP Political Parties Flags File Photo: NDC and NPP flags

Wed, 2 Mar 2022 Source: Kwaku Badu

The irony in the coup enthusiasts' disposition: Who benefits from coup d’états?

It is not the least surprising at all to see some members of the opposition NDC gleefully singing the praises of the coup-makers in Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

There is a widespread impression that the NDC is synonymous with coup d’états and therefore the party faithful feel uncomfortable condemning such abhorrent action.

In fact, the NDC was founded on the ideals of their coup-making founder, the late J. J. Rawlings (detailed in Article 6 of their party constitution, which their founder autographed with his blood).

The NDC loyalists would never agree with some of us for persistently analyzing the current affairs through the lenses of the past.

But I am afraid we cannot make sense of the present happenings if we refused to take stock of the past events.

There have been countless incoherent and somewhat preposterous references on the coup d’états in Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso by some elements within the Umbrella fraternity. But the most unfortunate statement is that of the former President, John Dramani Mahama.

The former president was reported to have pontificated that Ghana’s democracy has turned out to be a charade that benefits only a privileged few (emphasis mine).

Well, I could not agree more with the former president. Indeed, Ghana’s democracy has benefited the likes of John Dramani Mahama, who has enjoyed the democratic dispensation to the fullest.

In fact, it is quite bizarre and somewhat hypocritical on the part of the former president to infer somewhat impetuously that Ghana’s democracy has been a regretful event.

The fact of the matter however is that former President Mahama has enjoyed Ghana’s democratic dispensation as an assemblyman, then as a parliamentarian, a deputy minister, a substantive minister, a vice president, a stand-in president (following the sudden and mysterious death of President Mills), as an elected president of Ghana, and the 2016 and 2020 flagbearer of the opposition NDC.

In fact, no Ghanaian has received so much from the coffers of Ghana more than former President John Dramani Mahama and his wife Lordina Mahama.

Credible sources have it that whilst in office, the salary of former President Mahama and the allowances of his spouse Lordina Mahama increased year by year.

It is being alleged that after taking over from the late President Mills in 2012, former President Mahama was initially taking home a monthly salary of GH¢15,972, whilst his wife Lordina was receiving a monthly allowance of GH¢11,500.

Former President Mahama’s monthly salary allegedly rocketed to GH¢22,464 and increased to GH¢24,710 in 2014.

The former president’s salary was said to have increased to GH¢27,181 in 2015 and by the time he left office in 2016, he was taking GH¢29,899.

At the same time, Mrs. Lordina Mahama was allegedly taking a monthly allowance of GH¢17,073 in 2013, received GH¢18,780 in 2014, increased to GH¢20,658 in 2015, and took an amazing flight to GH¢ 22,724 before her husband left power in 2016 (credit: dailyguidenetwork.com, July 2021).

It is a known secret that before leaving office, former President Mahama constituted a Committee to deliberate and propose increments of the Article 71 officeholders emoluments to reflect the prevailing inflation.

The Committee chaired by Professor Edu-Buandoh duly recommended an annual increase of 2.4% up to 2017, backdated to 2013 for the persons listed under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution which includes the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of Parliament and Legislators, Judges among others.

Upon Professor Edu-Buandoh Committee’s recommendations, former President John Dramani Mahama, who used to take home a non-taxable salary of GH¢15,972 at the beginning of his presidency, was pegged at a salary of GH¢22,809. This translates into a 42.8% pay rise over the four years,

Prof. Edu-Buandoh’s report explained that the recommendations were based on “the committee’s guiding principles of fairness, equity, motivation, and ability of government to pay.”

According to the report, while on retirement, former President John Dramani Mahama will receive other benefits such as state-provided staff not exceeding four, a furnished and up-to-date office, and communication equipment.

The former president will also be provided with a staff consisting of a cook, steward, gardener, and two security persons.

The former president will also have the opportunity to embark on foreign trips with his wife and would be able to use the presidential jet.

Medical and dental services will be provided to him and his wife by the state as well.

Former President Mahama will be given a chauffeur, two vehicles maintained and comprehensively insured by the State and changed every four years for life.

Moreover, the state will fully pay for overseas official travels with his spouse and two security persons.

The report stated that the state will sponsor only two foreign travels per year – those not exceeding two weeks in duration – and the president and his wife are also entitled to free healthcare and other benefits, including the payment of utilities at his residence.

Besides, the six staff at the Office of the former president Mahama are allegedly taking home a staggering total salary of GH¢688,488.00 at the end of every year.

Given all the superfluous trappings, it is absolutely right for Mahama to assert that Ghana’s democracy has only benefited a privileged few.

K. Badu, UK.

Columnist: Kwaku Badu