A deputy general secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Obiri Boahen, has said “personally, I am of the view that first and second ladies are entitled to be paid”.
“That is my personal opinion”, he told Kofi Oppong Asamoah on Class91.3FM’s morning show on Tuesday, 13 July 2021, adding: “Maybe, we can be discussing the quantum. Fine. But I am of the maximum conviction that considering the services they render to this country since independence, they deserve to be paid”.
“I don’t see anything wrong about that”, he noted.
His comment comes on the back of outrage by Ghanaians at a recommendation made by the Ntiamoa-Baidu committee on Article 71 officeholders that presidential spouses be paid cabinet-level salaries.
The intense criticism compelled first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo and the wife of the Vice-president, Mrs Samira Bawumia, to reject the proposed state salary and also decide to return to the state kitty all allowances paid them since 2017.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Mr John Boadu, has dared former first lady Lordina Mahama to follow the example of her successor and refund to the state all allowances paid her between 2009 and June 2021, as the wife of a vice-president, president and former president.
In a one-on-one interview with Paa Kwesi Schandorf of TV Africa on Tuesday, 13 July 2021, Mr Boadu said: “Let me say this emphatically: former president Mahama’s wife, Lordina Mahama, must, as a matter of urgency, refund all monies paid to her since January 2017 till now”.
“Those she received as far back as 2009 should also be refunded”, he stressed, adding the “monies she has received from that time till now would amount to GHS3.2 million”.
First Lady Rejects State Salary, Decides To Refund GHS899K Paid Her Since 2017
Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, according to a statement from her office dated Monday, 12 July 2021 and signed by Korkor Bleboo, Director of Communications at the Office of the First Lady, “decided not to accept any monies that have been allocated to be paid to her pursuant to the recommendations of the Ntiamoa-Baidu committee, as approved by parliament”.
“She is doing this as a purely personal decision, without prejudice to the rights of others, and not to undermine the propriety of the process undertaken by parliament”, the statement said.
Apart from that, the statement also announced that: “The First Lady, in consultation with the President of the Republic, has decided to refund all the monies paid to her as allowances from the date of the President’s assumption of office, i.e., from January 2017 to date, amounting to GHS899,097.84.”
The statement said Mrs Akufo-Addo did not request to be paid any allowance, adding: “She only received that which existed and attached to her status, albeit informally.”
Her decision, according to the statement, is also borne out of the public outrage and negative commentary about the recommendations, which, in her opinion, seek “to portray her as a venal, self-seeking and self-centred woman, who does not care about the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.”