The Communication officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Savannah Region, Malik Basintale has charged the Akufo-Addo-led government to reject recommendations to pay monthly salaries to his wife, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and wife of the Vice President, Samira Bawumia.
Basintale, a spokesperson for the NDC emphasized that it is wrong for the Akufo-Addo government to allow wives of the president and his vice to draw salaries as cabinet ministers, stressing that the implementation of the decision will impoverish Ghanaians more.
Parliament in 2019 approved a recommendation by a five-member committee which was set up in June 2019 by President Akufo-Addo to review the remuneration of Article 71 officeholders.
The Professor Yaa Ntiamoah-Baidu-led committee recommended for the spouses of the president and his vice be paid monthly like cabinet ministers.
But commenting on the issue that has generated controversy on social and traditional media, the vociferous NDC spokesman indicated the Akufo-Addo government was on a mission to enrich a few family and friends of the first family of the country.
“The fact that you are an Article 71 Officeholder does not guarantee that your wife can also enjoy your benefits,” Basintale told King Nicholas on Inside Politics on Power FM.
Mahama Rejects Recommendations
Meanwhile, former President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama, has opposed Akufo-Addo’s way of handling emoluments for spouses of sitting and former Presidents and Vice Presidents.
In a statement, Mr. Mahama suggested that the Akufo-Addo government is attempting to “sneak the First and Second Ladies into the article 71 office holders’ group”, saying “This is clearly problematic.”
Mr. Mahama argued further that the new emoluments are tantamount to altering an entrenched clause in the constitution without due process.
“Article 71 is an entrenched clause in the 1992 Constitution, and nothing short of a referendum can be used to amend or vary that clause as per article 290 of the Constitution,” he explained.
“The Committee, and indeed the government, cannot use a short-cut to circumvent well laid-out constitutional rules,” added.