Sophia Akuffo Erred Big Time; Says Gabby Otchere
Leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere Darko has taken a swipe at former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo for her open opposition to the Domestic Debt Exchange programme (DDEP).
In a series of tweets, the politicians asserted that Sophia erred in her actions.
On Friday, February 10, 2023, Sophia Akuffo joined some members of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum to protest the inclusion of bonds of pensioners in the DDEP at the Finance Ministry.
Speaking to the media, she described the Programme as “disrespectful, wicked, unlawful and wrong”.
The 73-year-old said, “You don’t solve your problem by sacrificing your aged- That’s the last thing we should do especially when we don’t have services that are specially geared at the comfort and relief of the aged.
“The National Insurance system has virtually collapsed. The elderly are buying their medications at normal commercial prices and a lot of people have told me that they have timed the way they did their investment so that at least every month there is something for them to cover their medical bills.”
Individual bonds were included in the government’s DDEP- a programme developed to bring Ghana’s debt to a sustainable level in order to earn an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout- when pension funds were excluded.
Although the government has modified the programme in such a way that all retirees- including those retiring in 2023- will be offered instruments with a maximum maturity of 5 years at a 15% coupon rate, the pensioner bondholders say they want a total exclusion from the Programme.
A section of Ghanaians commended the former Chief Justice for her action, however, Gabby in a series of tweets on Sunday said Sophia “erred big time”.
He believes instead of picketing the Finance Ministry as the group has been doing for the past week and continues to do, it should rather abstain from the Programme.
“Whiles I have sympathies for those picketing, I think we should be bold enough to ask them what really is the purpose? Why picket over an offer which you have the liberty not to accept? You are asking to be exempted but from an improved offer programme which is voluntary!”
“Rather than asking the Govt for exemption at this late hour, why did she simply not ‘exempt’ herself from exchanging her original bond for the new one! Why picket over something you don’t like (the improved offer) when you have the right not to sign up? Sorry, but I struggle to get her emotional outburst over exemption!”
He added, “for a former CJ to take up a noble cause such as she did but at such late hour when all was done and for all that publicity, she owed it to herself and her social standing to have understood the issues far better than what she exhibited last Friday. She is bigger than that.”
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini