A leading member of the New Patriotic Party, Gabby Otchere-Darko, has stated that the gesture by the former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo to picket the Finance Ministry together with pensioner bondholders was done in error.
According to him, the offer to self-exempt has been given to pensioners, therefore, there is no need to picket when they could just self-exempt.
Even though her intentions may be genuine, Gabby said, he added that she did not have a full grasp of the issues.
In a series of tweets on February 12, 2023, he wrote: “The former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, may mean well but she erred big time in her basic appreciation of the issues. 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! I hope she won’t volunteer to picket tomorrow and on the same issues when the time to sign up has expired,” he added.
He continued to state that: “For a former CJ to take up a noble cause such as she did but at a 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.”
The placard Sophia Akuffo wielded on February 10, 2023, when she joined Pensioner bondholders to picket the Finance Ministry read “We use our bond yields to pay our rents, medical bills, electricity bills, water bills.”
According to her, it is unlawful for the government to include pensioners in the debt exchange programme.
“It is very heartbreaking to see people, particularly in my age group, some are older than me, somewhat younger than me but these are all people who have worked very hard. They could have left the country when others were going. They stayed, they worked for the nation,” she told GhanaWeb Business in an interview.
“I find this wicked, disrespectful, I find it unlawful. I find it totally wrong, period because you don’t solve your problems by sacrificing your aged. That’s the last thing you should do especially when you don’t have any services that are actually geared at the comfort and relief of the aged,” she added.
Pensioner bondholders picketed the finance ministry on the fifth consecutive day to demand a total exemption from the programme.