• ASEPA was at the forefront of those who chastised the new arrangement to pay the First and Second Ladies salaries
• Following the rejection of the monies to them, ASEPA has said that it is surprised the First and Second Ladies have decided to return everything they received as allowances
• ASEPA boss, Mensah Thompson, described this as a display of arrogance and ingratitude
The Executive Director for ASEPA, Mensah Thompson, has described the decision by the First Lady and the Second Lady to refund all allowances paid them by the State since their assumption to office, as a display of arrogance and ingratitude.
He explained that the matter that was being discussed by the general public was not in relation to whether they deserved any monies at all, but it had to do with the elevation of their monies from allowances to full salaries, just as cabinet ministers are paid.
Following public outcry, Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Samira Bawumia issued separate statements to reject all monies to be paid to them in their capacities as First and Second Ladies, following recommendations by the Professor Yaa Ntiamoah Baidoo Committee.
But the Alliance for Social Equity And Public Accountability (ASEPA) doesn’t seem satisfied with this announcement, even though they were at the forefront of this disagreement with the new arrangement to pay the spouses, going ahead to even state that they will “file a motion of interlocutory injunction” on the matter.
Reacting to this in an interview with GhanaWeb, Mensah Thompson explained that their contention was not with regards to the monies they were receiving, but on the attempts to elevate them when they did not deserve it.
He explained that particularly when the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has continuously said that the country is economically handicapped, this was a bad move and wrong timing.
“It is shear arrogance and ingratitude on the part of the First and Second Ladies that has caused them to refund these monies back to the state because the contention here has always been the upgrade of their allowance to a summary status and not the allowance itself. The president told us that things are tight, the economy is hard hit by COVid-19, things are difficult and so we should tighten our belt. He told public workers not to ask for an increment in salaries because things are tight.
All of us have been patient for the government only for the government to pass behind and say, ‘I’m not going to increase public sector salaries but I’m going to upgrade my wife’s salary from an allowance to a full salary as a cabinet minister. That is what the public outburst is about and so if the First Lady and Second Lady say because of the public outburst, now they don’t want the allowance again, then they should refund it; we need it,” he said.