Renowned lawyer, Martin Kpebu, has praised the immediate past Chief Justice (CJ), Sophia Akuffo, for joining retirees picketing over the government’s plan to involve their bonds in its Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
According to him, the move by the former Chief Justice has brought a new paradigm to Ghana’s democracy.
Speaking in a Citi TV interview, on Friday, which was monitored by GhanaWeb, Lawyer Kpebu compared Sophia Akuffo to Yaa Asantewaa, the Queen Mother of Ejisu, who led the Ashanti Empire to war against the British in 1900.
“Seeing her there, I was surprised. She has always had that public spirit, but I did not know she could express it in this way, and it is good that she did… she has broken a glass ceiling.
“Because we have made it look like once you have certain positions in government or in Ghana generally, then you were barred from coming to certain conversations. But with what she has done, she has broken the glass ceiling.
“She has changed the face of our democracy. Because if our former CJ demonstrated, that is super, super, super! God bless her for this. I call her the Yaa Asantewaa returns. We need more people to speak,” he said.
Martin Kpebu, a convener of the Individual Bond Holders Association of Ghana, added that the action of the former Chief Justice has strengthened the resolve of individual bondholders in their demand to be excluded from the DDEP.
The former Chief Justice of Ghana, Sophia Akuffo, who was appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, joined retirees in picketing the Ministry of Finance in Accra.
The pensioners have been picketing at the premises of the ministry since Monday, February 6, 2023, over the government’s plan to include their bonds in its Domestic Debt Exchange programme.
Captured in a front-seat position at the premises of the Ministry of Finance, the former Chief Justice has in hand a wooden placard.
Her placard read: “We use our bond yields to pay our: rents, medical bills, electricity, water bills.”
She described the government’s move to include pensioners in the debt exchange programme as wicked, disrespectful, and unlawful and threatened to sue the government if it goes ahead with it.
According to her, it is wrong for the government, through the Ministry of Finance, to sacrifice pensioners’ hard-earned monies to save the government after serving the nation.
While bemoaning the negative impact of the debt exchange programme on pensioners in an interview with GhanaWeb Business, Sophia Akuffo stressed that it was heartbreaking to see her age mates and others older than her go through pain.
“It is very heart-breaking to see people, particularly in my age group, some are older than me, some are somewhat younger than me, but these are all people who have worked very hard. They could have left the country when others were going. They stayed, they worked for the nation.
“I find this wicked, disrespectful, I find it unlawful. I find it totally wrong, period because you don’t solve your problems by sacrificing your aged. That’s the last thing you should do especially when you don’t have any services that are actually geared at the comfort and relief of the aged,” she said.