The National Redemption Volunteers, an activist group, has called on President Akufo-Addo to initiate the process for amendment of Article 71 of the constitution to prevent the payment of ex gratia to old parliamentarians who continued to serve in reconstituted Parliament.
According to the group, the amendment would help protect the public purse by ensuring that cabinet members who consecutively serve in government’s two term of office are also given their ex gratia at the end of their service as opposed to receiving payment at the end of every electoral term.
“It is unconscionable to pay a non-taxable GH₵400,000 in ex gratia to people who only serve for four years in office and give the teacher peanut. It is cheating to earn GH₵400,000 on autopilot only to win elections and come back for more,” said Richmond Owusu-Frimpong, the General Secretary of the group at a press briefing yesterday.
He said that resources saved from the payment of ex gratia could be used to better the lives of ordinary Ghanaians, most of whom lacked access to basic amenities and good education.
The group has also demanded the amendment of the necessary provisions in the 1992 Constitution that would among other things ensure the majority of ministers do not come from Parliament, heads of independent state institutions are not appointed by the President, while security agencies such as the Police Service are solely responsible for appointing their heads.
Speaking on the just ended election, the group has chastised the leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), including it flag bearer, John Dramani Mahama, for making early declarations which spurred on supporters to engage in lawlessness and violence.
“Why did he tell his supporters that he has won the elections and that the verdict was stolen from him when according to him there was no winner,” the group queried.