General News of Thursday, 7 December 2017
Former President John Dramani Mahama’s aide, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, has described as irresponsible and reckless claims by Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, that the land on which the former president’s residence is sited, belongs to the Ghana Armed Forces.
In a strongly-worded statement which was released in the wake of the Minister’s comments, Joyce Bawah Mogtari stated emphatically that the former President had not taken possession of any land owned by the military.
The statement added that the property in which the former first family currently resides has been at the site for years.
“We presume that the minister’s irresponsible claim is in respect of the current residence of the former first family. President Mahama has not appropriated or acquired any land or property belonging to the military and which he is currently occupying.”
“President Mahama has not appropriated or acquired any land or property belonging to the military and which he is currently occupying”, Joyce Mogtari stated.
“This Office is appalled at the minister’s unfounded accusation because any serious Defence Minister, with the Military Intelligence apparatus under him would know that President Mahama has no claim to the ownership of the land of the property in which he resides,” the statement added.
The statement further clarified that, “the former president and his family as is commonly known, currently resides in a residential estate developed by a private real estate development company. The estate has been in existence for several years and the former first family lives peacefully with several Ghanaian and expatriate neighbours.”
Dominic Nitiwul had demanded, when he addressed a Meet the Press session on Thursday, that John Mahama vacates the residence as it was sited on military land.
He criticized the previous administration for their poor handling of matters relating to the country’s armed forces, claiming that land belonging to the military had been sold off to government officials at the time.
“…I am talking about the former President, John Mahama. I will say no more, but I am very disturbed about this. It is happening in Tamale, it is happening in Takoradi and Lands Commission is colluding to do that.
People in Lands Commission were selling Armed Forces lands. Not under this watch, that cannot happen any longer, and anybody who decides to encroach on Armed Forces lands should leave. It is not in your interest. I am sorry; but that is the truth that we did not manage the Armed Forces lands very well.” he noted”
The statement described the comments made by the Defence Minister as irresponsible, and dismissed them as mere propaganda from a state official who is expected to act with more decorum.
“It is sad that the minister with oversight responsibility over our men and women in uniform, who risk their lives to preserve the security of our nation, would descend into the gutter and dabble in propaganda of the most undesirable kind. This behaviour falls short of the requirements of a Defence Minister whose office calls for sobriety and reflection,” the statement concluded.