Member of Parliament for the Tamale Central Constituency Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed has doubted the sincerity in the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo’s decision to refuse the proposed emoluments for First and Second Ladies and also her decision to refund all allowances paid to her since 2017, saying she should do well to pay it back with interest into the public purse.
Mr Mohammed questioned the motive in the decision by the First Lady to refund the paid allowances to the state if it was legitimately allocated to her office.
He opined that such disbursement to the First Lady is “absolutely illegitimate” in the first place, insisting that the committee that determined the emoluments of people considered to be ‘Article 71’ office holders never stated her as one of them.
It is only her husband, the President, who is considered under the said article, he stressed on New Day on TV3 on Tuesday, July 13.
Mr Mohammed pointed out that the attempt by the First Lady to appear principled by returning the allowances paid to her since assuming office will not pass as sincere if she does not refund with interest to the state.
He said her added decision to stop taking the allowances from hence is understandable since that has been the position of the people of Ghana.
The Tamale Central lawmaker said he never knew any allowances were being paid to the First and Second Ladies until she came out to address the subject.
He said the uproar expressed by the Ghanaian public only shows the fidelity of the Ghanaian democracy in demanding that things that are done wrongly be corrected and that the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, deserves no plaudit for doing what is right.
He made this pronouncement on the back of the decision by Mrs Akufo-Addo to refuse the proposed emoluments for First and Second Ladies as recommended by the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu committee and refund all allowances paid to her since 2017 when she assumed the mantle of the First Lady of Ghana.
“It is much ado about nothing, if the First Lady wants us to believe that she is so principled and cares so much about this country. I think that she should return the money with interest. Why is she returning the money when she herself is saying that she thinks that the money was legitimate to be paid to her? In the first place, it was absolutely illegitimate. The First Lady should understand that the committee that determines the emoluments of people who are supposed to be Article 71 office holders, she is never one.
“The fact that your husband is a member or is an Article 71 holder doesn’t make you one. So in the first place, this attempt to create the impression that she is so principled and that I’m returning every money as indicated in the letter that henceforth, she is not interested in taking any money is understandable, that has been the position consistently of the people of this country.
“We never knew that monies have even been paid. You remember when this whole discussion came up, the impression was created as if they haven’t even effected any payment of that illegitimate money to them.”
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana