Former President John Mahama has said in reference to the frustrations expressed by former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo concerning the decision to include pension funds in the domestic debt exchange programme that: “When I noticed we were running into an economic ditch, I made several calls for a genuine dialogue and national consensus on an economic programme”.
Mr Mahama said: “The arrogance and intransigence of a president, and incompetence of a Finance Minister and the Economic Management Team have led us here”.
“We could have forged a broad non-partisan consensus on the IMF bailout and accompanying debt restructuring programme. Alas, it seems too late now!” Mr Mahama added.
Justice Akuffo recently joined some of her peers to picket the finance ministry over the debt exchange programme.
Speaking to journalists among the picketing pensioners on Friday, 10 February 2023, the former Chief Justice said: “We have had our ups and downs. A lot of us were from generations where we were encouraged to save for tomorrow and all that. We have been through times where all your savings become nonsense because of some government policies, then over the years, bit by bit, people have become more confident in the economy and investments”.
“Quite a number of people here today, when they retired last two years, put everything into government bonds; it is a contract and, now, all of a sudden, you virtually want to force them to agree with you that the repayment of the yield of their investment should be as you dictate it. Why?” she asked.
“Why are we in the mess? Nobody has fully explained to us. Yes, we took loans, what was it used for? And where is the accountability? Exactly what was it used for? You are not telling us about how you are going to be able to make things better but just that, ‘help me and I help you’. No, you help yourself first, let me see if you are doing something serious because we have seen these sorts of things too many times”, he noted.
“I am over 70 years now. I am no longer government-employed, my mouth has been ungagged, and I am talking, and I am saying that we have failed, and it is important that the elderly should be respected. I find this wicked, I find it disrespectful, I find it unlawful, I find it totally wrong.”