Open Letter to the President of Ghana to Withdraw or postpone the Committee for the determination of the Emoluments of Article 71 Office Holders. Fixing Ghana Agenda, this should be done after the National Election in December 2024 for the sake of the stability of the Fourth Republic otherwise the maintenance of national Cohesion.
MAJOR MOHAMMED BOGOBIRI (RTD)
Dear His Excellency President Nana Addo,
Sir, in the maiden inauguration of you as the President of the Republic of Ghana which happened on 07 January 2017, you made a clarion call to the citizenries to be loyal and active Citizens and not disloyal and passive bystanders. Consequently, I pray and wish you may please accept in good faith this inoffensive submission and act accordingly by abrogating the recently constituted Emolument Committee for the determination of the Emoluments of Article 71 Office Holders. Otherwise get the Committee to postpone its activity till after the National (Presidential) election on 07 December 2024.
This is very important for some very good reasons including, namely (a) for the sake of the stability of the Fourth Republic otherwise national Cohesion and (b). To be considerate through making it favorable for the Presidential Candidate from your Party to also have a very good chance to win the 07 December 2024 ,Presidential Election and for him to successfully take over from you and reinvigorate your vision for Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.
Please, I wish you could study the following situations and draw lessons from them (a) in the period of the formative and the consolidation of your regime in 2017/2018, was the alleged preparation for a coup to overthrow your regime by Dr Mac Palm and others but excluding one of my Platoon Commanders in 2Bn Takoradi now Colonel Gameli on trial for same Coup attempts, Gams is a likeable and very sociable persons and mingles a lot, this might have cost him greatly, so, I regret for not grooming my small boy very well but I know he will be exonerated. (b). the cancellation of the election on 26 August 1993 and handing over to Chief Ernest Shonekan by General Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria and (c) the recent coup in Gabon on 26 August but in 2023 that also saw the cancellation of election by a Military Junta but not ready to handover to the Leader of the Opposition Party if it was true that the former President rigged the election.
Sir, the last point, must serve as a warning to Coup dreamers that some of the Military Officers who staged Coups in the past were opportunists either to settle personal misunderstanding with the Presidency or problem with his regime or to meet personal egos or corporate interest of the Military like the few amenities in 1972 in Ghana.
If Coup happen in Ghana we will close all TV and Radio Stations with the exception of those of GBC. So that we ensure communication is towards forging and maintaining national cohesion and about serious production ventures and not promoting slay queens, money doubling etc.
His Excellency, before I digress on the subject, let my provide you a pen picture of myself especially relevant Military background particularly my referees. So that you may appreciate that I was well groomed by very professional, experienced, honest and patriotic senior Military Officers.
Sir, as a very young Army Officer, I was initially groomed under the Command or the Leadership of your indefatigable National Security Adviser as my Squadron Commander in the Field Engineers Regiment Teshie, later he was the Second-in- Command of the Unit then as Major Emmanuel Okyere now Brigadier General Emmanuel Okyere ( rtd). I, was also groomed by then Lieutenant Colonel Francis Adu-Amanfoh now Major General Adu-Amanfoh (rtd) when he was the Commanding Officer of the Field Engineers Regiment Teshie and currently the Special Advisor to the President of Ghana for the Accra Initiate for the fight against threats of terrorism.
I also served in the Third Garrison, Sunyani, then under the Command of two indefatigable Commanding Officers namely then Lieutenant Colonel JB Danquah and later on under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Adinkrah both of them rose to become the Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander (Chief of Army Staff) respectively, with the rank of Lieutenant General and Major General at their respective appointments.
Sir my last Military Unit was the Great Second Infantry Battalion, Takoradi (the Army Unit of grand finale) where I served under the Command of three indefatigable Commanding Officers including then Lieutenant Colonel OB Akwa who rose up to become the Army Commander and the Chief of Defence Staff with the rank of Major General and Lieutenant General at the respective appointments and now Ghana’s Ambassador to Egypt.
Sir, I entered the Military with a specific motive but coincidentally these three mentioned Army Units especially the Field Engineers Regiment, Teshie and the Second Infantry Battalion Takoradi as my first unit and the last unit in which I served respectively were noted for their ant-Coup stance. For instance, these two Units namely Field Engineers Regiment, Teshie and the Second Infantry Battalion Takoradi under the Command of Lieutenant Ekoh Dennis and Lieutenant Colonel Abito respectively made serious attempt to foil the 31 December 1981 Coup.
So, sir, I am just one of your humble, harmless and peace loving Senior Citizens who is a very strong defender of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which as you are aware represents popular sovereignty thus anchors the Fourth Republic. Sir, the above pen picture tells much that the Military Officers under whom I served under, imbued in their personnel thus including myself the need to be very loyal to and defend the 1992 Constitution at all times.
Hence my unwavering stance to uphold, protect and defend the 1992 Constitution. The below testimonial from Hon Joseph Boahim Aiddo the CEO of COCOBOD, then Chairman of the Western Regional Security Council during the formative and consolidation of the President Kofour’s Regime may support my assertion.
Sir, pardon me for further diversion to give you more insight about my unwavering stance to uphold, protect and defend the 1992 Constitution. Sir quite recently I made a submission in the media especially in the online portal of Modern Ghana in defense of the Bank of Ghana, a Constitutional Body and recommended that the Governor and his Deputies deserve National Honour to be bestowed by you for considering Ghana First for the very good reasons stated below.
Sir in the name of preserving, defending, and protecting the 1992 Constitution, hence the Fourth Republic, the Governor and his Deputies made the Bank which is as a Lender of Last Resort to purchase or pay the price for Public Good when in 2022, they made available to the Government of Ghana, about GHC37 Billion Cedis to fill the serious revenue gap (and not budget overran) in the 2022 Citizen budget as result of global supply shocks occasioned by three major Force majeure situations.
Sir, these three problems were namely (a) the repercussion of the COVID-19 Pandemic /Declaration of the State of Emergency by you till it was lifted in May2023, (b). The effects of the Russia-Ukraine War and (c).
The unwarranted and failed E-levy to provide the needed revenue. Sir, these problems caused the further down grading of the financial status of Ghana to junk by International Financial Rating Agencies with the associated shutdown of the International Capital Market to Ghana. These problems and the solutions by a Central Bank can be provided by a student of economics in the SHS. Since during crisis time, the Central Bank, hence Bank of Ghana should be judged by actions for the fulfilment of her mandate of maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability and inclusive growth. So let us study the State of affairs of Ghana’s economy the crisis and the solutions.
Sir, as a result of the possible economy meltdown occasioned by the three risks as mentioned above, so ,in order to meet the Bank of Ghana’s Constitutional mandate or one of the core objective of a Central Bank globally to promote and maintain the stability of the currency of the Country, the Governor and his Deputies used the Balance Sheet of Bank of Ghana with an amount of GHC60Billion Cedis in the proclaimed Domestic Debt Exchange Program which helped in the reduction of the accumulated debt of Ghana since the 1980s which was 105%, thus an unsustainable debt to the sustainable level of 55%, to facilitate an earlier access to the much talked about IMF Bail Out as earlier on recommended by His Excellency Ex-President Mahama and some members of the Intelligentsias for the booting/Navigation of the economy of Ghana from a reportedly Depression state to upturn level and to ensure the maintenance of macroeconomic and financial stability and inclusive growth.
Thanks to Almighty God and the excellent work of Dr Addison, Ghana is seeing signs of rapid economy recovery. So, instead of hammering on the need to Honour and credit Ex-President Mahama with his early idea of Ghana opting for the IMF Bailout which due to the very difficult crisis situation which threatened National Security hence the Stability of the Fourth Republic and necessitated Dr Ernest Addison, the Governor of Bank of Ghana and his Deputies to use risk management tool and rescued Ghana’s economy from collapse unlike foolhardiness of his counterpart in Sri Lanka who as the Governor of Bank of Sri Lanka who woefully failed or refused to appreciate the dynamics and kicked against or refused to support the idea of IMF bailout for Public good.
It is very unfortunate that some citizens, some MPs and other elements in the Nation are making ugly noises and want to demo against the good recommendation of Ex-President Mahama. There must be something wrong with them otherwise they do not want to see the recovery of the economy of Ghana.
Sir, the Minority Group of Parliament and their cohorts must be educated that they are derailing the second coming of his Excellency Ex-President Mahama because whether the economy crisis was due to mismanagement by you, President Nana Addo as alleged by them or a combination of both internal and exogenous or external factors or internal problems aggravated by external shocks as alleged by you and the IMF/World Bank that saw in the History of Ghana and the IMF, a Managing Director of the IMF openly campaigned for Ghana to get early bail out support from the IMF, therefore there was/is only one option or solution.
This was/is IMF Bail Out as recommended by his Excellency Ex-President Mahama. Thus the participation of Bank of Ghana with GHC60Billion from her Balance Sheet in the nation’s burden sharing effort in the Domestic Debt Exchange Program for public good was sine qua non (necessary condition) hence security or common sense answer and not a paper for PHD degree. HMM our Pull Him Down syndrome in our DNA clouds always our good thinking, the brand of the Ghanaian (by courtesy of Hon Alhassan Suhuyini, Hon MP for Tamale North).
Sir, lastly, Dr Ernest Addison’s governorship of Bank of Ghana, must be respected and commended with his excellent acumen and Statesmanship that saw the need to build the gold reserve of Bank of Ghana, involvement in the Golf for Oil Deal to support the Energy or fuel supply sector so as to help sustain the stability of the currency and provision of fuel 24/7 at good price without queuing and we were/are told that the Bank made a profit of GHC1.6 Billion in 2019, GHC1.5 Billion in 2020 and GHC1.4Billion in 2021.
So the Governing Board and the Management of the Bank decided to make the dream of the Bank for a fit for purpose new Head Office since 1990 as a reality. Consequently, the Construction of a fit for purpose new Head Office started in the good year of 2019, which is about 42% complete, should not divide the nations if no serious problem of procurement and cost of the Project considering the likelihood of variation of cost in volatile global economy.
Sir, aside the traditional role of Monetary Policy and the construction of Bank of Ghana’s Hospital and Guest Houses before 2016, hence the Bank of Ghana supporting the Nation in the provision of infrastructure and employment, thus a related issue of open market operation in support of the fiscal policy in the past, we deserved to be informed what other good things the Bank of Ghana did in the past.
So people should not waste the ears of the good citizenries with ugly noises. Sir it must be made clear to all that considering new taxes introduced by the Government, cost of inputs etc the changes in the cost of the building inputs, new state of the art of equipment and software being introduced with time and Labour demanding for cost of living allowance etc the cost of the Project going up should not be a shock to even a pupil of JSS. So variation of a Project maybe permissible.
His Excellency, the Demand for transparency and accountability/probity on the Construction of the new Head Office is both a constitutional legal imperatives, hence not to be negotiable at all and must be pursued by the good Minority Group and CSOs. But, why the Project is an infantile question or point, because the Project is a cost effective infrastructure that may also house International Financial institutions like West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI), that will pay rent, it will also make it possible to release the old site for others at costs to them and revenue to the State.
Furthermore, it is an open market policy to create jobs in the construction industry and generate revenue by taxes (PAYE, VAT, E-levy etc, SSNIT contributions, Insurance cover premium etc) besides improving the Landscape or skyline of Accra.
It is a prayer that Bank of Ghana like what the Central Bank of Nigeria did in the participation in massive production of rice as import substitution bid may also play an open market operation in the Agricultural Sector. This should be what the man on the street should be clamoring for.
Sir thanks for the diversion from the subject, enter the matters on the Emoluments of Article 71 Office Holders. Sir, it is feared that if you do not tread cautiously that is not exercising caution in the governance of this Country, you may precipitate very serious civil disturbance or likelihood of a Coup in Ghana thus spoiling the very good work (your legacy) which the Almighty God saw you as the best among the Angels or Devils who contested for the Presidency of Ghana since 2016, as the one who can lead us in the difficulties or the risks ahead of 2016, especially the major ones as stated above, which the whole World hence including Ghana was bound to be confronted effective 07 January 2017.
Sir, you were on point when you said that you cannot revive a dead man but with God and the support of the citizenry you would be able to revive a dead economy. Sir, thanks to the Almighty God, the economy of Ghana with the support of the IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank, Bank of Ghana, the Commercial Banks especially the Rural Banks, the Ministry of Agricultural under a very dynamic Minister, the economy is navigating towards macroeconomic and financial stability and inclusive growth. But, please, His Excellency once again, I wish to entreat you tread cautiously that is you need to exercise caution in the governance of this Country.
Sir, Emoluments of Article 71 Office holders is certainly a Constitutional imperative but you still need to tread cautiously in the governance of Ghana during this hard times because an Hungary man is angering man in a Concrete Jungle, hence Sir do not inflame public sentiments against your regime in view of the numerous scandals. The timing is immoral, disincentive to workers or wrong, unconstitutional or illegal to be explained later. So please reflect on my recommendations and you will see the wisdom for the abrogation of the Committee.
The Constitutional intention by the framers of the 1992 Constitution is for the Committee to be constituted at the last month for that reason it must be done in the month of the National election to determine the benefits of the Public Policy Office Holders, so as to determine whether in view of the administration of the Country for the last four years they deserved to be paid an increment if so by what percentages This was borrowed from the Constitution of the USA, which by the Domestic Emolument Clause at Section 1 clause 7 of Article 2 of the 1992 Constitution on US Domestic Emoluments Clause to prevent Congress or the President from increasing or decreasing the other party’s emoluments during the tenure office of a President from using this to exert influence on the other party. So it states that the compensation of the President of USA shall neither be increased nor decreased during the period for which he shall have been elected.
Likewise, the Ineligibility Clause at Section 6 of Clause 2 of Article 1 that affects the Compensation of members of Congress or Reps etc. This is to help to ensure neither an act in the State weakens the President necessities nor corrupt his greed or greediness.
Sir aside the regime of President Kofour who constituted the Committee in the last years (2005 and 2008) of his regime and President Mahama who constituted the Committee in 2016 all the other Presidents in the Fourth Republic including you constituted the Emolument Committee at wrong time. So, please, sir abrogate it and do so in December 2024.
Sir, abrogation of the recently premature inaugurated Emolument Committee, will ensure the maintenance of national cohesion, stability of the Fourth Republic, and increase the prospect of the Presidential Candidate of your Party, which is going to be Dr Bawumia, his excellency the Vice President of Ghana for him to compete successfully for the Presidential slot with his northern brother, in the person of his Excellency ex-President Mahama, as prophesied by the Hon Speaker of Parliament, a very honest and truthful Northern brother.
So, with the support of Southern brothers, the Northerners will buy the piece of advice from Mrs. Mariam Babangida, one time first lady of Nigeria, that though the value of a Northerner to be elected as President of her Country (Nigeria) is the same but the Northerners should consider the Northern person or the Presidential Candidate, who Constitutional can be the President of the Country for two consecutive times and can make a very great impact to the Nation especially in the North and Zongo Communities.
So please do not spoil this golden opportunity for the Northners and the Zongo Communities as well as your Political Party so please tone down your acts.
Sir, it was very disturbing when I heard that you, President Nana Addo on 30 August 2023 inaugurated a 5 man Emolument committee as at required under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution to review the work of previous committees, consider sentiments of the populace on whether or not the 71 Article Office Holders are deserving of monies and benefits paid to then as stipulated In the 1992 Constitution and they are also require to consider global best practices and come out with recommendations as to how these concerns can be addressed.
Sir, your Statements are heavily loaded and convoluted, so I can see the devil in your statements. Hence, this submission to you. Sir. Sir, note that there is no way that the Committee can reduce the payment by violating an entrenched clause of the 1992 Constitution, Sir, if they do so, it will be a legal Coup against the 1992 Constitution. But take note that to some people an action by President Nana Addo is very bad. This is not news, hence it is expected anyway.
Sir, the Payment of the Constitutional provided compensation to Article 71 Office Holders was done by all regimes, It is President Kofour who on moral grounds and may be for the good work of spouses of Presidents and VPs, unconstitutionally and illegally introduced the payment of allowances to sitting and past First and Second Ladies and they were considered under Article 71 Office Holders and paid arrears as done for the Article 71 Office Holders, thus making it unconstitutional.
This was the state of affairs until Hon Mr Nana Addo became President of Ghana and was obliged to continue with the tradition and when he did the ritual thing, the whole nation was divided with some of the citizens very mad when they heard that spouses of President Nana Addo and VP Dr Bawumia were paid some allowances which forced the two Ladies to return the payment.
Sir it is wrongly perceived by ignorant persons (I will prove them wrong in this submission) that that Article 71 Office holders are draining the State heavily by earning too much with alleged fat salaries and are also paid excessive end of service paybacks, reimbursement (benefits) at the end of four years of tenure of office. Sir, to satisfy their interest, the left wing populists in the Nation and their cohorts have introduced an unconstitutionally and illegal and confusing termed as ex-gratia which legally is a voluntary payment and have been running amok with it and thus incited and inciting the underprivileged and uninformed gullible citizens against the 1992 Constitution.
Whilst appreciating that our hard working teachers and public sector workers hence, the Labour front (group) may have cases to ask for better terms and condition of services which must be reflected in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and or their appointments letters, they need to be educated and informed that the affected Constitutional imperative is actually non-discriminatory since no issue of qualification required aside being a citizen of Ghana with no burden of dual citizenship of the required age and of sound mind. So nothing prevents them to stop the teaching and compete and operate in this very risky political arena.
The need to read the story of ex-President Dr Liman and some other teachers who entered into political party politics.
Sir, Parliament and NCCE must educate the public that the cost of campaigning to become a member of Parliament or President of Ghana is said to be above GHC800,000.00. Hence, this amount or part of it must be recouped. Sir, a school of thought have been asking for the State to sponsor or support or pay the cost of campaign by the Candidates and Political Parties. So, if accepted you can imagine the Political enterprises that this suggestion may create with associated very huge drain on the national confers.
Not making the Compensation for Article 71 Office Holders very attractive may not motivate a very experienced, honest and hardworking person say the Vice Chancellor or a Professor of University say KNUST or Accra Legon to resign and compete to occupy or accept public policy Offices or persons with dual citizenship say of Canada as well, to renounce his or her Canadian Citizenship to also compete to occupy or accept public policy Offices.
So Sir, the wiser thing to do is to make the Compensation and privileges for Article 71 Office Holders very attractive to entice experienced people including (a. teachers in order to induce any qualified citizen by Constitutional or legal provisions including the man on the street or (b). better say any illiterate like Hon Akua Donkor or the beautiful Hon Ama Seay of Akwatia or (c) .from a Class Teacher in any school anywhere in Ghana say in Navrongo to any Professor or the Vice Chancellor of a University say University of Ghana or KNUST or (d). a Commissioner of Police or (e), very rich Businessman like Mr. Kwame Despite or Hon Kennedy Agyapong or (f).
Military Officer especially of the higher echelons of the rank of Major and above from the Armed Forces or (g) say a UN Secretary General etc to resign and compete with his own resources in a very risky environment in order to occupy Public Policy Offices as a Member of Parliament, or the President of Ghana or Minister of State etc.
Sir, this idea of making the compensation of Article 71 Office Holders very attractive was introduced by the Mensah Commission which drafted the 1979 Constitution of Ghana and the 1992 Constitution is almost a carbon copy of the 1979 Constitution Article 58 of the 1979 Constitution refers. Also it was based on General Akyeampong’s good idea of attracting very competent persons like what he did to attract one Dr Robert Gardiner from the UN or Economy Commission for Africa with good compensation and was also given the rank of Honorary Colonel and furthermore it was best on global best practices. The Singapore experienced by Lee Kuan Yew refers.
So, Sir, Mr. Cabunu and Mr. Musah of NAGRAT and GNAT respectively and respectfully have no case, since the terms, condition of work and the risky nature of the work for a Member of Parliament cannot be the same with that of VC of KNUST or a teacher. Since, the MP has to visit his or her Constituency frequently, attend all social activities, wedding, funerals etc including functions or funerals of the VC or Teachers he or she is invited by the VC etc to attend.
So, sir the Compensation for the MP or Presidents etc must be good to attract the VC of UG or KNUST to resign to compete to be President and not the President or MP to resign to become a teacher or VC of KNUST etc, and act will not be good for the Country. So the infantile comments must not be entertained, since nothing prevents the teacher to compete in an election to become MP but hmm. it is funny that an illiterate like Hon Akua Donkor cannot become a teacher but can she become a President, this is for a very good reason to make non-discriminatory but to attract Mr. Cabunu and .Mr. Musah or Mr Hon Kennedy Agyapong, the multimillionaire and the man on the Street to be on equal levels since one the important requirement is to be a Ghanaian.
It is for a very good reason that Article 71 of the Constitution is an entrenched Clause in order to demand critical thinking by competent persons and not give easy room to populists to ride on the emotions of the man on the Street to gain power. For the above reason the Dr Fufie Committee cannot stage a Coup against the 1992 Constitution and consider the divisive tendency of the subject and this may be regarded as an attempt to sabotage or destroy the prospect of Dr Bawumia to become President of Ghana, thus denying Northners to have someone who enjoy 8 years term of office, so please Sir abrogate this venture at this hard.
Otherwise your detractors may see as greedy one. Wishing you the Best Mr. President. But, Sir please stop over speeding to hand over to somebody else, Sir.