Former President John Dramani Mahama has told persons calling on him to return ex-gratias he has received as a sign of good faith to his promise of scrapping the retirement benefit that he cannot.
According to him, he is not in the position now to return the retirement benefits he has received because he has no other source of income as a ‘pensioner’
“I have spent the money already and now I am a pensioner, where am I going to get that money to pay back? I am unemployed but they say bring yours to show you have good faith, I have no source of income, and you say I shouldn’t work.
“They say the president should not hold the office of profits so you gave it to me, I spent it then you come and say I should refund it, where am I going to refund it from?”
Mahama also has challenged the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to state their position on ex-gratia payment to Article 71 officeholders.
He added that rather than criticising his promise to scrap ex-gratia, the NPP should state their position on the issue which is on the heart of every Ghanaian.
“I say we will cancel ex-gratia, if you will cancel it, you too say when you come you will cancel it. But why are you insulting me and saying I should refund mine? Will you cancel it or not cancel it tell the people of Ghana. They say oh bring yours first,” he said.
“They don’t understand the gravity of the situation. I do think that for those of them who speak for NPP, don’t understand the gravity of the situation, but is good for our party,” he added.
Promise to end ex-gratia and run a lean government:
Former President John Dramani Mahama has promised to scrap the retirement benefit given to the Executive under Article 71 officeholders, known as ex-gratia when he becomes president again.
According to him, his government will start the constitutional processes to scrap ex-gratia in the first year of his administration.
The former president, who made these remarks at the launch of his campaign to become the flagbearer of the NDC on Thursday, added that his government would also work to scrap ex-gratia benefits given to appointees under the other arms of government.
“The payment of ex-gratia to members of the executive under Article 71 will be scrapped. And the necessary constitutional steps to abolish that payment will start in earnest in 2025.
“We will also begin the process of persuading the other arms of government other than the executive to accept the removal of this ex-gratia payment,” he said.
Watch Mahama’s reaction in the video below: