A member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) transitional team, Hanna Tetteh, has said the request by former president John Dramani Mahama for a bungalow and office is part of his end of service benefit package approved by parliament.
Speaking to Class News, she noted that the former president only asked to maintain his current residence as opposed to being issued a new one.
According to the former Foreign Affairs Minister, the request for a house is not new as it has been done for former presidents.
“Parliament approved the president’s entitlement. What was discussed and approved by parliament has been the case for previous heads of state. It was that the president would be provided with official accommodation befitting a former president which also will have guest houses and an office. So it’s not about him asking for something; it’s an entitlement approved for him by parliament which has been approved for former heads of state already,” she stated.
Ms Tetteh further explained that Mr Mahama requested specifically that he would prefer to remain at his current address rather than move out to a new accommodation.
“Again this is very much in line with presidents. If you recall, when former president Rawlings handed over to President Kufuor and he was leaving office, he indicated that he would prefer to live where his family was already residing. That building was given to him as his official accommodation. And you would also recall that when the building was damaged by fire, it was the state’s responsibility to rebuild it. Now all of these precedents have gone on in our country… His (Mahama) benefits were approved by parliament. …As a member of the transition team, what I’m aware of is that the president had approval to get it as in the case of previous presidents – an official accommodation and office, two vehicles, security arrangements, and everything that the state is obliged to provide former heads of state.”
Meanwhile, government’s transition team, led by Yaw Osafo-Marfo, has disclosed it has not authorised former president John Mahama to continue to reside in the same state bungalow he lived in as president.
According to Mr Osafo-Marfo, the transition team was yet to make a decision on the matter because “we have to meet and discuss as a team, but we are holding the request”.