Former President John Dramani Mahama has responded to comments made by the Managing Director of the State Transport Corporation (STC), Nana Akomea, regarding his monthly allowance, which Akomea referred to as an ex-gratia payment.
In an interview on Accra-based Peace FM, Nana Akomea had challenged Mahama to stop accepting his monthly allowance starting from May 2023.
He claimed that the former president had no right to accept ex-gratia if he planned to abolish it when voted as President again.
“Some people argued that President Mahama, if you want to cancel the ex-gratia, then return the ones that you have taken...so, for you, let us take it like the advice that they gave doesn't make sense because that is money you have already spent...look at the kind of insults he insulted people, he said that they are silly, they should know better. He insulted them anyhow.
"Someone that when people share their opinions, and you don't agree with them, then you insult them,” he said.
He continued, "Let me give him one challenge, just one challenge; Togbe Afede said that for him, he doesn't believe in ex-gratia as a Council of State member, so what did he do? The ex-gratia that they gave him, he returned them to the government...after returning the money to the government, President Mahama praised him for doing that, saying he is a man of principle...so it means that Togbe Afede has principles by returning the ex-gratia.
"So, you, President Mahama, today if you claim you don't believe in the ex-gratia, the ones that you have taken, we know that you have spent it already, so we can't say that go and bring it...but the challenge I am giving to him is that the ones that he will be taking from this month May, he shouldn't take it, he should stop taking the ex- gratia, the same way Togbe Afede stopped and returned his own, he should follow the same principle," the STC boss said.
Reacting to the comments made by the STC boss, Mahama took to Twitter to slam Nana Akomea.
He said what he takes every month is not ex-gratia, but a monthly pension allowance which is been paid to any ex-president by law.
“My friend Nana Akomea. Really sad what politics can do to a fine mind! I don't take ex-gratia. I receive a monthly pension,” the former President tweeted in the wee hours of Friday, May 26.
The ex-gratia debate has been a contentious issue in Ghanaian politics, with some arguing that the payments are unnecessary and a drain on the country's resources.
Mahama had previously pledged to abolish ex-gratia payments if he is voted as president again, stating that the money could be better used to address pressing national issues.