General News of Monday, 23 January 2017
President Nana Akufo-Addo will never demand a state bungalow be given him as part of his retirement package after leaving office, a former Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah has said.
“I don’t believe that Nana Akufo-Addo as president will retire and tell Ghanaians to give him a house. I’ve been with him and I know him very well, he has a lovely house and morally, I know him and he will stay there, I’ve eaten kenkey and pepper with him [and so I know him very well]. I can vouch for his integrity, he won’t do it,” Brig Gen Nunoo-Mensah said.
According to him, it is “morally reprehensible” and an “immoral act” for a small and relatively poor country like Ghana to be giving state properties to former state officials including presidents as part of their retirement package.
“Did Americans do that: give their presidents a place to live? Obama I am told was buying a house in Washington. But is America obliged to give him a place of residence? Why should we do it? I mean if America, which is ten times richer than us, is not giving their presidents [state houses, then why should we do it?]” Brig Gen Nunoo-Mensah told Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Monday, 23 January.
His comments come in the wake of a recent controversy regarding former president John Mahama’s request to keep the state property he occupied while in office, as part of his retirement package.
“I’m sure that if President Mills had lived and finished the eight years, I know him very well, he won’t go and get a state house, he will go and live in some small house at Spintex Road. So it depends on the integrity of the people we are talking about,” Brig Gen Nunoo-Mensah said.
He said instead of politicians grabbing state properties for themselves, they should rather empathise with the poor, ordinary taxpayer by being moderate. “We should have sympathy for our suffering people; the elections we just had told us many things. …Those who are coming shouldn’t think that they can come and do whatever they like. Ghanaians have changed and they will change again if they don’t meet their needs, which are plenty …” he urged.