The ex-gratia honesty of Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of Asogli State, has renewed demands for the abolition of ex-gratia payments to article 71 office holders, who include the President of the country, his Vice, ministers, lawmakers, and members of the court, among others.
Analysts have long contended that making such large payouts to politicians, some of whom have only served for four years, while paying tiny pensions to public sector workers who have worked for the state for at least thirty years, is both unnecessary and unjust.
Togbe Afede after rejecting the 365,000 ex-gratia has caused Ghanaians to believe there are still people who have the nation at heart than those who call themselves with big titles yet amass wealth in their respective offices.
A classical example is Sir John whose will sent shock down the spine of Ghanaians.
The properties he gave out to his children included part of the Achimota forest reserve which the government rubbished it wasn’t for sale.
Ghanaians chastised the late New Patriotic Party (NPP), General Secretary, accusing him of accumulating money using his public job.
Togbe after his ex-gratia honesty has thus become a subject of discussion on social and traditional media as a consequence of his refusal of the large quantity of money, with many Ghanaians admiring him and pushing others to follow in his footsteps.
According to a statement released by the Agbogbomefia, he received a monthly salary and allowances while serving on the Council of State, thus he does not feel the need to pay the ex-gratia.
In a statement, he clarified: “I confirmed from the Council of State Secretariat that the sum of 365, 392.67 was paid into my account as ex-gratia. I thought the extra payment was inappropriate for the short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So I was very uncomfortable with it.
“I did not think the payment was made to trap me, as is being speculated. I believe it was paid to everybody who served on the Council of State. However, I thought that extra payment was inappropriate for a short, effectively part-time work, for which I received a monthly salary and was entitled to other privileges. So, I was very uncomfortable with it.
“After weeks of trying, I obtained advice on how to refund inappropriate payments to the State, and on March 4, 2022, I made the refund into the Controller & Accountant General’s Department Suspense Account at the Bank of Ghana.”
This development has reignited calls for the abolishment of the payment of ex-gratia to article 71 office holders.
Discussions on the gargantuan Ex-gratia for Parliamentarians, Ministers of state, and others every four years in Ghana are beginning to attract the attention of the citizenry once again following Togbe Afede’s rejection of his won which was paid into his account after serving on the Council of State
The sudden attention has been attributed to the hardship facing the people and the need to mobilize resources for Ghana’s efforts at improving the general well-being of the people.
Political leaders such as Members of Parliament, Ministers, and the like are awarded huge lump sums as Ex-gratia after every general election every four years.
The country’s current economic situation necessitates an examination of the enormous sums paid every four years to members of parliament, MPs, and other members of the article 17 class of public employees in order to prevent the country from paying ex-gratia to those who receive the ex-gratia, win elections, and then return to parliament.
Ghana’s politics has been substantially commercialized, and the benefits received by these public officials are sufficient proof for today’s young, some of whom feel that entering politics is the best way to be successful in Ghana.
Politics is now a means of benefiting oneself, one’s family, and one’s friends, as well as reaping all of the pleasant side advantages.