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Monday, February 22, 2010

Government promises ‘dignified’ ex gratia for Kufuor

James Agyenim Boateng
James Agyenim Boateng

Government has promised a befitting ex gratia package for former president John Agyekum Kufuor.

It says Mr Kufuor, as a former president, will not be denied what is due him.

Deputy Information Minister James Agyenim Boateng disclosed this in reaction to a suggestion by aide to Mr Kufuor, Frank Agyekum, that the ex-president has not been allocated any accommodation as part of his ex gratia package. He was speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday.

“You don’t have to like Mr Kufuor to give him what is he is due. As a former president of the republic what is due him must be given him. I have insisted and indeed that is the position of the government that Mr kufuor will be treated in a respectful, dignified manner. You don’t have to like him to do that for him,” Mr Agenim Boateng said.

Mr Kufuor has not received his ex gratia - including accomodation - since the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government assumed power.

Whilst Mr Agyenim Boateng insists government has been in talks with the Office of Mr Kufour over an apartment off the Patrice Lumumba Road at the Airport Residential Area, Mr Agyekum says the former president is not aware of any such arrangement.

Mr Agyekum has challenged the government to come out and name persons from the former president’s office who were supposedly engaged in the so-called meeting over an apartment for Mr Kufuor.

Former Secretary to Mr Kufuor, Ambassador D.K. Osei, has reportedly denied any knowledge of government’s allocation of a bungalow to Mr Kufuor, except a comment in passing by state officials late last year that there was an apartment around the Airport area being renovated for Mr Kufuor.

Mr Agyekum also said none of the members of the ex-president’s team has been taken to the said apartment, a situation which leaves him surprised as government is already out claiming to have allocated a specific bungalow to the former president.

“As far as the former president’s office is concerned, nothing of such has happened,” he indicated.

Meanwhile, on the issue of cars for the ex-president, Mr Agyenim Boateng said there are four vehicles awaiting clearance by the former president.

According to him, there has been a series of correspondence to the Mr Kufuor’s aides to go and inspect the vehicles.

The deputy Information Minister said as far back as May 2009, officers from Mr Kufuor’s office were at the Castle to inspect two Mercedez Benz saloon cars but failed to return to pick them.

“As I speak to you now, two more additional vehicles have been added. And these are V8 Toyota Land Cruisers,” he said, adding that although the former Chief of Staff, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, has been been called upon to inspect the vehicles he has refused to show up.

It is not known when the controversy surrounding Mr Kufuor’s ex gratia package will be brought to a closure but his spokesperson Frank Agyekum has called on government to expedite action to ensure a speedy payment of the former president’s package.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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