Prez Mahama Cannot Be Given Cantonments Residence If,... - NDC Activist

Member of the Communication Team of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dela Edem says his boss, former President John Dramani Mahama should not be given the Bungalow No.3, Prestige Link, Cantonments and its adjoining facilities as his official retirement home.

According to him, it is wrong for former President Mahama to keep the Cantonments residence which is originally meant for the Vice President as his retirement home, whereas former President John Agyekum Kuffour was given nothing in his retirement despite the Chinery Hesse Committee’s recommendation to provide him with certain facilities for his retirement.

Speaking on Peace Fm’s The Platform evening political talk show, Dela Edem insisted that since some NDC stalwarts condemned the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey for buying the state bungalow after leaving office, it is that same manner the idea of President Mahama keeping the Cantonment residence must be condemned.

“ . . since former President Kuffour was given nothing (residential facility) as a retirement package, in that same manner, ex-President Mahama cannot keep the Cantonment residence as his official retirement home. He can only keep the residence as his retirement home if former President Kuffour will be given same for his retirement package,” he argued.

He however condemned the idea of giving state facilities as retirement packages for people who have served as public officers.

The NDC activist comment comes against the backdrop that the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah during the transition period wrote to the transition team of the incoming Nana Addo’s led administration to give Bungalow No.3, Prestige Link, Cantonments, Accra and its adjoining facilities as his official retirement home.

The letter also requested to keep Bungalow No.6, 3rd Avenue, Ridge, Accra as office for former President John Dramani Mahama, despite the fact that many have said the Presidential Emoluments Committee report headed by Prof. Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh did not include the two residences as his retirement benefit.

According to the report, the outgoing President, while on retirement will receive benefits such as state-provided staff not exceeding four (4) and a furnished and up-to-date office and communication equipment and staff support consisting of a cook, steward and gardener.

Instead of going home with a fully furnished house in Accra and another location of his choice outside the capital, President Mahama will rather receive “40 percent of [his] salary to be paid monthly.”

This is a deviation from the Chinery-Hesse Committee Report (2001-2005) which said, former Presidents should receive “one fully furnished residence in the national capital and one out-of-capital residence at a location of the former President’s choice; all of which should not revert to the state in the event of the demise of the former President.” In the area of security, “the state will provide two security persons to be chosen by the former President from state security. Two vehicles for security.

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

For overseas official travel, the state will fully pay for all such trips with his spouse and two security persons.

The state will however, sponsor only two of such travels per year and those not exceeding two weeks in duration. President Mahama and his wife will also be entitled to free healthcare.

Other benefits include the payment of utilities at his residence.