Dr Edward Mahama has said his appointment as an Ambassador-at-large by President Nana Akufo-Addo will not put extra burden on the taxpayer.
“In any consideration of this nature, you’re looking at the cost-benefit [analysis]. You don’t know what benefit I will bring to this nation in this position and the resulting financial or other gains that will come. You don’t know that because you are not the president. I’m sure the president has calculated what I’m going to do for him and it is worth it and as I said, any opportunity, especially regarding the initial discussions I had with the president, for me, it’s good because I don’t think I would burden Ghana. I will be an Ambassador who will make things better for Ghana in whatever role he asks me to do. I’m not somebody who wants to burden Ghana at all,” the five-time flag bearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC) told sit-in host of the Class91.3FM Executive Breakfast Show Kwesi Parker-Wilson on Tuesday 11 July.
The President announced Dr Mahama’s appointment on Monday along with 21 others.
According to the medical practitioner, his appointment is “an opportunity for me to serve my nation like I have never done, and, so, yes every opportunity to serve for a Christian like me is an opportunity to meet up God and so I see this opportunity as one that is service first to God, second to Ghana and thirdly to President Akufo-Addo.”
Asked if he consulted with the national executives of the PNC before taking up the president’s offer, Dr Mahama said: “I consulted with some individuals but I didn’t call the executives to say: ‘This is what is going on,’ but I talked to some individuals in the party and told them that because this particular position was more or less a national service than serving a particular party or administration, I thought it was appropriate that I will [take it] because people who don’t know me out there think that I have been refusing to serve in any capacity other than being a president. I’ve heard this several times and it has saddened me because people have often misrepresented me and said things that are very far from the truth about me, so another thing that weighed in on me was that if you keep passing up opportunities to serve your nation, you really are showing some kind of inordinate pride which I don’t I have. I’m a practising Christian, I don’t go to church and Jesus Christ on the night he was crucified washed the feet of his disciplines and so for me serving this nation in any capacity is service to God and so I accepted it in that light.”
Dr Mahama said he does not believe he disrespected the party’s hierarchy by not consulting them, saying: “I’m the leader of the party, why would I disrespect it? Disrespect to the party is disrespect to me. I’ll let them appreciate it. I’ll call a meeting and let them know what has happened as soon as practicable.”
According to Dr Mahama, he cannot display the specific role the president has asked him to play. “When I first discussed this with the president, he mentioned a specific area where he wants me to work, I won’t mention it on air and it’s an area that I feel passionately about and I said yes I would work with him. But Ambassador-at-large simply means that the president can send me anywhere – outside Ghana, inside Ghana to do what he thinks is in the interest of Ghana. And as I said, the opportunity to serve Ghana in this new role is one that I appreciate and I thank God and I thank the president for the opportunity,” he added.