Joyce Bawa Mogtari, Special Aide to former President John Dramani Mahama, appears to be engaging in damage control antics by claiming that the GH¢568,049 paid into the bank account of her boss is not his monthly salary but end-of-service benefit, otherwise known as ex-gratia.
Her claims beg the question whether the modalities for payment of ex-gratia have changed, owing to the fact that as at now a net total of GH¢568,049 has been paid into the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) account of former President Mahama on a monthly basis since leaving office.
The GH¢29,899 monthly payment is the same amount the sitting president receives at the end of the month.
The aide to the former president went on a media blitz last week claiming that neither former president Mahama nor his aides had received a dime from the current administration as salary.
She told Accra-based Okay FM that despite the effort made by the office of the former president, the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration has failed to fulfill its mandate of paying the former president his emoluments as spelt out in the Professor Dora Francisca Edu- Buandoh presidential committee on Article 71 office holders.
She claimed they had been following up on the salary issues at the Office of the President but nothing has been done to address their concerns.
However after DAILY GUIDE put out the story that former president Mahama had been paid a total of GH¢568,049 to cover 19 months since the NPP assumed office, the narrative changed to ex-gratia.
However documents available have disproved assertions that Mr. Mahama has not been fully paid since the NPP assumed office.
In fact, Mr. Mahama has so far been paid more than half a million Ghana cedis since the NPP took office on January 7, 2017.
The documents reveal that the current government was initially unable to pay the salary, as it had not settled down, and this position is supported by the fact that government at the beginning of its term did not pay its own staff.
Ms. Bawa has been criticized from all quarters for publicizing issues concerning the salary of the former president instead of handling them diplomatically.
There are some who suggest that her move was to score cheap political points and paint the current administration black in the eyes of Ghanaians, forgetting that she is publicly putting personal issues of the former president.
Ms Bawa, who has realized that her plans have failed, is embarking on a face-saving agenda by claiming that Mr. Mahama received his end-of-service benefit and not his monthly salary.
Her comments seem to suggest that Mr. Mahama is entitled to a monthly GH?29,899 ‘ex-gratia,’ aside his constitutionally mandated monthly salary.
The documents reveal that former president John Dramani Mahama received his salary arrears of GH?29,899 for 12 months, totalling GH?388,687 which had been paid into his ADB account at Adabraka branch.
In fact, the documents show that the former president has since the beginning of this year been consistently receiving his monthly salary of GH¢29,899 from January 2018 to July 18, 2018.
As at now, a net total of GH¢568,049.00 had been paid into the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) account of former president Mahama.
The documents revealed that approval was given to pay all the six members of staff at the office of the former president.
Interestingly, the six members of staff are taking home an annual salary of a whopping GH¢688,488.00 at the end of every year.
Their names were recently submitted to the Office of the Chief of Staff at the Jubilee House.
In what could be described as a shameful comment from the aide of the former president, Ms. Bawa seems to suggest that Mr. Mahama is unable to take care of himself and has to depend on his wife Lordina Mahama to survive.
“Maa Lordina is a very hard working woman; she is still running and managing her businesses and so I am sure that maybe she is the one taking care of our father [John Mahama], and by God’s grace everything is well but what government should give to them, none has been given… I can’t tell if he [Mahama] borrows money from her, but I know Maa Lordina is someone who helps her husband a lot,” Ms Bawa told Kwame Nkrumah Tikese, the host of Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show.