The People’s National Convention’s (PNC) General Secretary, Atik Mohammed, wants the law relaxed to afford former President John Mahama the privilege to stay at his official residence for two months as he prepares to pack out.
The Presidential Transaction Act indicates that, the outgoing President must vacate his state residence by the time the incoming President is sworn in.But speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Atik Mohammed argued that, the circumstances surrounding President Mahama’s request for his official residence to be given to him as his retirement home, should be taken into account.
There are reports the President has already packed out of the house following the development. However. Citi News sources close to the President say the’s yet to move out.
“A maximum period of two months should be afforded the ex-president to make arrangements to vacate his current residence. The reason simply being that, where he is occupying at the moment is not that which the President is going to occupy. It is supposed to be a residence meant for the Vice President.”
“Given the circumstances with which he is leaving that particular residence, my assumption is that he did not make adequate preparations to exit almost immediately after the swearing in or before the swearing in was done… That is why I am saying that, as an ex-president, he deserves some courtesy to be extended to him.” Mr. Atik explained.
Apply common sense to law
His argument notwithstanding, Mr. Mohammed stressed that, he was not in support of President Mahama making a request to keep that residence, a request the former President has since withdrawn.
He however insisted that, “we should apply common sense in the application of the law” noting that not every provision in the Transition Act was fully executed.
“If it is not that injurious, why can we not as a State afford the exiting president these last 30 days. It should not be too much for us to do. The law is not cast in iron. It is not a law that if we massage it, it could be extremely dangerous to the work of the administration or could have some extremely negative effect on the stat of Ghana,” Mr. Atik Mohammed argued.
Request for residence worrying – CPP
Meanwhile, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) has indicated that, it was unhappy with President Mahama for willfully making a request to personalize state property.
The Director of Communications for the CPP, Abdul Rauf Kadiri, described the former President’s move as worrying, saying it set a bad precedent.
He however agreed that a former President indeed deserves accommodation befitting his status.
“For him to show any request or even the idea of him wanting to privatize it or personalize it, we think that it was not necessary. An apartment has been put to a specific course and that purpose is to house vice presidents of the country. Now an exiting president wants to personalize that particular property and I think that was most worrisome.”
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana