There has not been any agreement yet to grant a request for former President John Dramani Mahama to keep his official residence at No 3, Prestige Link, at Cantonments in Accra, as part of his retirement package, the Spokesperson of the NPP Transitional Team, Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has said.
“He is just starting work as President. He now has the power to sign off on some decisions. There is a recommendation that has been made by our side [NPP] of the Transition Team and he will ratify or disagree with that recommendation and then an announcement will be made,” Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said in a radio interview on Joy FM.
He was responding to a statement from Former President John Dramani Mahama’s office that urged the public to ignore claims suggesting that he had “hijacked” his residence, contrary to what the Transition Act stipulates.
The Transition Act states that the former President should be offered an official retirement home and an office.
Following from that Mr Mahama has indicated that he would like to have Bungalow No.3, Prestige Link, Cantonments and its adjoining facilities as his official home and Bungalow No.6, 3rd Avenue, Ridge, Accra as his office (See letter below).
Responding to media reports and subsequent commentary on the issue, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah insisted there has been no agreement and that there was a request which would be responded to.
He said the statement from Mr Mahama’s office suggesting that a decision was made and then communicated to the Transition Team, “which with great respect cannot be the case, it would not be up to the President at the time [Mahama] to pick and point out and then communicate same that he wants to use his official accommodation as his retirement accommodation”.
“What has happened is that the request has been made, I do know that a response would be communicated to him in the shortest possible time… but at this stage what I can say is that a request has been made.”
He said discussions have been on-going in the interest of the country on the request and other issues magnanimously and even where they are unhappy about things, they have tried to be gentle in order not to create unnecessary tension.
Former President Mahama’s response
“Contrary to the claims being made that HE John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana, has refused to vacate his residence, we wish to state and confirm that per the information officially communicated to the newly inaugurated administration following discussions by the Joint Transition Team, President Mahama will continue to maintain his current place of residence as his retirement home,” President Mahama’s statement said.
It added: “The decision and agreement on the place of residence and office for the former President was formally communicated to the new administration by the former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah on December 19, 2016.
The Sixth Parliament of the 4th Republic before its dissolution, also resolved that residential and office accommodation should be provided to the outgoing President, HE John Dramani Mahama in line with convention and existing precedent, the statement added.
“The claims that Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia is stranded and has nowhere to stay, is mischievous and deliberately intended to embarrass President Mahama.”
“The Vice President is expected to take up residence in the House known as Australia House, which was previously occupied by former Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur.
An Official and Permanent residence for the Vice President is currently under construction, off the Switchback road. Dr. Bawumia will move into the new structure when completed.”
Source: Daily Graphic