The Global Old Vandals Network has commended the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State and former President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV for returningn his ex-gratia to the state.
Recently, it was reported that the well known chief returned over ¢365,000 ex-gratia paid to him for serving on the Council of State between 2017 and 2020.
While some praised him for for protecting the public purse and thinking of the growth and development of the country, others also criticised him for being a propagandist.
The critics were led by renowned broadcaster Paul Adom-Otchere who stated on his programme Good evening Ghana on Metro TV that the payment of ex-gratia to Article 71 office holders is captured in the 1992 Constitution, and therefore it was mischievous for Togbe Afede to have returned his in a manner that seemingly portrayed him as incorruptible.
But the old vandals say the chief showed an “exemplary principle and leadership.”
Below is the statement from the group;
Togbe Afede Deserves Praise on the Refund of Ex- Gratia, not Condemnation
We write to commend you for the exemplary principle and leadership you showed by refunding your Ex- Gratia back to State Coffers.
Your act has brought you lots of praise from all manner of right thinking people which you deserve.
Nations thrive on good acts and therefore when acts like yours take place they should be welcomed and celebrated and inspirations drawn from them to chart a new course for progress going forward.
Council of State positions, looking at the constitution, are for people who have made it financially in life but intend to serve their nation due to their patriotism and intent to give something back to society. The benefit such people should receive should be the recognition and respect the people of Ghana would accord them.
But we have observed that the Council of State positions have become an avenue for those who serve on it to make money and one such way is the payment of Ex Gratia to them.
We find your act especially deserving of praise because you had the courage not to take refuge in the fact that it was your right under the constitution as an Article 71 Office Holder. In this way you rose above legality and stood for morality and principle.
One of the reasons given by you for returning the money is that the Council of State position and work is not full time and therefore the payment isn’t deserving.
You also said Ghana is a poor nation whose people suffer and that such payments should have been used to better their lot.
We support those views.
We observe that despite the constitution backing the payment it is a drain on the nation’s resources and it was crafted by the framers without taking cognisance of this fact.
The Article 71 has become an acute cancer on the Nation’s finances. And when it is compared to what other categories of government workers- Public and Civil Servants get then one finds it is also very unfair.
The amount you returned, GHC 365,000, for one term of service -4 years- and for a non full time position- is very huge as compared to other government workers whose pension for working their entire life is nowhere near that amount.
If that figure is what is given to Council of State members for that short period of service on part-time basis, we can only imagine with horror the guarguantuan amounts given to those who serve on full time for several terms under the article.
This is a heavy and unsustainable burden on our national purse
and in a suffering society such as ours that arrangement must not be allowed to stand for all that it represents.
Ghanaians have been calling for the removal of the Article 71 and other obnoxious provisions in our constitution that allow such conditions you have taken a stance against.
We support you and we are not surprised you took that stand. Your honesty and dedication to the cause of humanity has helped you to take that decision.
We believe people should truly serve and not come to enrich themselves at the cost of the poor people of this nation.
We therefore applaud you and further urge you to champion the call for this condition in the constitution to be removed.
Togbui we know that you have taken the stance based on the motto of Vandalism: Truth Stands.
We also know there are some people who may fight you for your stance. These are people who are enjoying those unconscionable earnings or are waiting to get the chance to enjoy them when they scheme their way to Article 71 offices. Graciously ignore them knowing that the majority of Ghanaians stand with you and support you.
And may God
Almighty help you.
By Global Old Vandals Network