“If the former president brings his ex-gratia, Kwame I will campaign for him, I will clap for him. Let him say he’s doing what Togbe Afede XIV did, so he’s also doing the same…Kwame this is a big campaign message.
“I wanted him to set an example, actions speak louder than words….Togbe Afede is a human being, and Mahama is also a human being, so why not return it as Togbe Afede did?” these are the views of sports journalist Dan Kwaku Yeboah.
He was speaking with respect to the recent promise by former president John Dramani Mahama, that he would scrap ex-gratia – lump sum payments to Article 71 officeholders, when elected into office.
Kwaku Yeboah’s reference to Togbe Afede, the Paramount Chief and Agbogbomefia of Asogli State, stems from the chief’s decision to return ex-gratia payments made to him during his time as Chairman of the Council of State (between 2017 and 2021.)
His return of the over 200,000 cedis to government, he explained was because he felt it was payment for parttime work which he had voluntarily accepted to do and received allowances for.
He was celebrated for the gesture as much as he was criticised.
“You said it in 2015, the time you were in government, but you couldn’t scrap it, now that you’re on the bench (in opposition) you want to scrap what? Bring the ones that you’ve taken to set an example of what you’re saying,” Kwaku Yeboah stressed on Ekwanso Dwoodwoo on Peace FM, March 2, 2023.
Mahama promises to scrap ex-gratia
Mahama has promised to scrap the retirement benefit given to top government officials 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, March 2, 2023, 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.