General News of Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Former diplomat K.B. Asante has called on Ghanaians making unsavory remarks about former President John Dramani Mahama to be cautious and treat the ex-leader with respect.
There has been an uproar on social media with some Ghanaians aiming derogatory remarks at the former president over his request to keep his official bungalow as part of his retirement package.
But KB Asante says Mr. Mahama must not be treated like a vagabond but accorded the respect he deserves. He added that the decision to withdraw his interest in the cantonments residence is due to the insulting comments aimed at him.
“He [Mahama] has withdrawn because of what is being done. He is a proud man and I don’t like some of the comments being made, some of them are silly and I think it’s not good,” he told Class FM Wednesday.
The former diplomat added “He [Mahama] respects himself. I will, if I have somewhere to go, leave the place. In Ghana, we should know how we talk, whether you like it or not he was president of Ghana and we shouldn’t treat him like a vagabond who wants to keep what does not belong to him.”
According to Mr. Asante, the State must “arrange temporary accommodation for him while the constitutional requirement of providing a house for him is met. But I don’t see why since he’s been living there all this while, even if the government says no, they can say ‘live there until we get a proper house for you”.
Former President Mahama on Wednesday wrote to President Akufo-Addo to withdraw his interest to keep his official bungalow as his retirement package.
The letter read: ” I refer to our agreement on the above subject matter and wish to inform you that I have decided to formerly withdraw both request to continue to stay at my current place of residence No.3.prestige link cantonment and also to use bungalow No.6 third avenue ridge, as my office.
“It would appear that these request threaten to mar the spirit of cooperation with which we as co-chairs of the joint transition team have managed the smooth transfer of power from my administration to yours. I believe that this controversy is absolutely not needed in this early days as the government settles into office. I do recognise that these are facilities that are conventionally extended to presidents that leave office and I am also mindful of the approval by the parliament of the republic of Ghana on Wednesday January 4 2017 at its 22nd sitting of the third meeting of the 4th session”.
It added: ”You would recall, Mr. President, that contrary to the erroneous impression created by some persons in government and the interpretation given to the former letter submitted on my behalf by Mr. Julius Debrah, this was a follow up an agreement we had on my choice of accommodation and office.
I had never requested to purchase the property, my request is therefore humbly withdrawn”.