Rawlings needed land for Foundation, not for personal use – Aide
The office of former President Jerry John Rawlings, has explained why he once requested to be given some additional lands, after the state had already allocated a plot to him for the purposes of the establishment of the Rawlings Foundation.
According to a statement signed by Kobina Andoh Amoakwa, Communications Director at the Office of the former president “No lease agreement was reached with the government” on the matter despite he expressing interest in same.
Reports in the media show letters exchanged between the former president and the lands commission, which said the then President, John Dramani Mahama in May 2016, directed it [Lands Commission] to give Mr. Rawlings 4.368 acres of land situated along the Seko Toure Street, Ridge Residential Area in Accra at a lease of GHc10 per annum for 99 years.
One of the letters from the Lands Commission said the request was granted pursuant to “recommendations in the report of the commission on presidential emoluments, with regards to emolument of former presidents.”
“This offer is made pursuant to the recommendations in the report of the commission on presidential emoluments with regard to emolument of former presidents of the Republic of Ghana. You will be required to take a lease of ninety-nine (99) years with effect from the 1st day of May, 2016 at a peppercorn rent of Ten Ghana Cedis (GHc10.00) per annum commencing 1st May, 2016. The rent shall not be subject to revision throughout the entire duration of the lease” one of the letter said.
The report further stated that, Mr. Rawlings who expressed gratitude for the parcel of land further asked for more land to enable him expand a project for his foundation.
“Due to the significant infrastructure demands that will come with the project and the fact that one intends to conform to the single and two storey structures within the vicinity, I kindly request that additional lands as shown in blue in the attached document, be added to the allocation. This will allow for the creation of enough space not only for the Foundation’s structure, but adequate space for staff and visitors to the facility,” one of the letters added.
But the statement from the office of Mr. Rawlings said his subsequent request received a delayed approval from government, hence there was no agreement yet on the matter.
“Unfortunately, the response dated May 9, 2016, received no reply till 12th December, 2016, when the Secretary to the President, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, discovered the letter 'misplaced among' his papers and wrote to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to act upon,” the statement added.
This revelation comes out at a time when immediate past President John Mahama, has come under fire for seeking to convert his official residence into his retirement home.
Mr. John Mahama
Below is the full statement from office of Rawlings:
RE: ALLOCATION OF PLOT TO H.E. JERRY JOHN RAWLINGS
Our attention has been drawn to information currently in the public domain of communication between The Lands Commission and His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings, former President of the Republic
As per the content of the said communication, a plot was allocated to His Excellency Rawlings for the purposes of the establishment of the Rawlings Foundation.
Upon receipt of the notification, His Excellency replied to the said directive and requested for adjoining lands to the said property also for the purposes of the Foundation, which he intends to dedicate to humanitarian, educational, population control, HIV AIDS, health related projects, the preservation of nature and the promotion and preservation of cultural values.
Unfortunately, the response dated May 9, 2016, received no reply till 12th December, 2016, when the Secretary to the President, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey discovered the letter 'misplaced among' his papers and wrote to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to act upon.
No lease agreement was thus reached with the government.
Kobina Andoh Amoakwa
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana