Ghanaians on Tuesday went into ecstasy when videos circulated of a pensioner expressing his frustration at the inclusion of pensioners in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
He deep knowledge of the Akan cosmology intrigued social media users as he emphasised the belief that one can revenge in the afterlife where seniority is very much respected.
The viral video captured by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the first day of picketing of Pensioners Bondholders Forum at the Ministry of Finance featured a man promising a weeding punishment in the ‘afterlife’ for officials who failed to exempt them from the DDEP.
That man was Nimako Boateng, a pensioner who will be celebrating his 65th birthday on February 14, the same day the Minister of Finance is set to make an appearance before the Business Committee of Parliament to brief the house on the DDEP.
He is a father of two children and has a total of four people who rely on him for sustenance.
He said he has been relying on bond coupons to supplement his “peanut” monthly pension despite retiring in December 2014 as a Mining Technical Service Manager with a leading Oil Marketing Company (OMC) in Ghana.
Mr Boateng explained that his early retirement at the age of 55 years meant he would receive a discounted pension salary for the rest of his life.
“Personally, I have never travelled outside, worked all my life here and I have invested the little I was paid into bonds so that I will get coupons to keep me and my grandchildren. If I am blocked from this income, how will I survive?” He said in an interview on Thursday.
Being present at all four outings so far of the forum is taking a toll on his body, and “I can feel it in my groin in fact, my legs cannot carry me, I am tired, but I still feel it will be better to die on this issue than let them take my money.”
He is currently experiencing shoulder joint problems which he said was due to driving about 6500 kilometres monthly.
He believed his persistence to fight for what is due him should go a long way to serve as deterrent for future generation of leaders in the country.
“Some people died for us and in our time, we will also stand up against such injustice perpetuated on us. I consider it as injustice because we have paid our dues to the nation,” he said.
Mr Boateng said, any attempt to block their source of livelihood was an attempt to end their lives hence his reason for saying what he said in the video.
“How many people are contributing towards the nation? Is it only the pensioners who have worked and paid taxes on our salaries and on thing that we buy. As at now that we are supposed to be resting, is it only our sweat that can bail the country?
He said it was time for the Government to consider reduction of its size and taking drastic expenditure cuts on packs for appointees to salvage the economic situation.
“What about the minister, deputy ministers who are taking salaries and using V8s. We came here on Monday and one of the V8 had its engine on and there was nobody inside. Is this how we are running the country?” He said.
Mr Boateng started his career as a national service person at the then Lever Brothers between 1984 to 1986.
He later joined Goil company as a lubricant engineer before retiring at Total energies where his job description entailed supplying lubricants to the mines.