The Global Vandals Network has highly commended Togbe Afede, for the exemplary principle and leadership shown by refunding his Ex- Gratia back to State Coffers even though he deserved it as an article 71 office holder.
The group made up of old students of the University of Ghana Commonwealth Hall noted that “We, therefore, find your act deserving of praise because you refused to take refuge in the constitution as your right, but rose above legality and stood for principle and morality.”
The group indicated that the GH¢365,000 returned by Togbe Afede for a term of four years and a non-full-time position is huge and significant, considering the fact that other government worker’s pension for their entire working life is nowhere near it.
Nations thrive on good acts and, therefore, when acts like yours take place, they should be welcomed and celebrated, with inspirations drawn from them to chart a new course for progress going forward.”
A statement signed by the spokesperson of the group, Mr Daniel Nyamadi, and copied to the GNA said the Council of State positions, in line with the constitution, are for people who have made it in life but intend to serve their nation with their expertise as patriots and statesmen to give something back to society.
The statement said in light of this, the benefit such people should receive should be the recognition and respect the people of Ghana would accord them and monetary gains.
“But we have observed that the Council of State positions have become an avenue for those who serve on it to make money and one such way is the payment of Ex Gratia to them”
One of the reasons given by Togbe Afede for returning the money was that the Council of State position and work is not full-time and, therefore, the payments are not deserving, and the fact that much money’s could be channeled into improving lives of the suffering masses.
The group observed that despite the constitution backing the payment of ex-gratia, “article 71 had become an acute cancer on the nation’s finances and a drain crafted by the framers without taking cognisance of this fact”.
This is a heavy and unsustainable burden on our national purse and in a suffering society such as ours that arrangement must not be allowed to stand for all that it represents, the statement said.
Some notable Ghanaians have called for the removal of the Article 71 and other obnoxious provisions in the constitution which allows such conditions adding, “we believe people should truly serve and not to add up to their riches at the cost of the poor people of this nation”