Chief of staff is ‘incompetent’ – Dr Valerie Sawyerr jabs

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A Senior Policy Advisor to John Dramani Mahama, Dr Valerie Esther Sawyerr, has taken a swipe at the Chief of Staff over the controversies surrounding the entitlement mandated for the former president.

Dr Esther Sawyerr said Frema Osei-Opare should have known better, backed by evidence whether the ruling government provided office space for the former president as mandated by the state to be done for ex-presidents.

Her comments come after the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) debunked claims made by Mr Mahama that he has been denied his emoluments as an ex-president.

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The NPP’s director of communication, Dr Richard Ahiagbah, at a press conference Monday, September 12, 2022, said John Mahama is fully enjoying his entitlement and deemed him as an article 71 guaranteed beneficiary.

He further noted they have evidence of correspondence between former President Mahama’s office and the Chief of Staff, contradicting his claims that his emoluments were not being paid.

However, Dr Sawyerr, in her publication described the responses by the Akufo-Addo Government as “blatant untruth” and “brazen falsehood” to say that they have been paying the rent for President John Mahama’s Cantonments office.

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The former member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana National Gas Company was quick to call it a real shame on President Akufo-Addo and his Chief of Staff, Frema Opare.

According to her, based on the status of Ms Frema Osei-Opare in government, there are a number of issues she deals with that do not come to the attention of the President.

Thus, she questioned the competence of the Chief of Staff asking why the latter does not have a list in front of her of the emoluments of ex-presidents and their spouses.

“If she is competent, she will have a list in front of her of the emoluments of ex-presidents and their spouses. She should know, off the cuff, what President John Mahama is entitled to and should be ticking the items off one after the other as soon as the constitutional commitments have been fulfilled.

“Unless of course, she is following orders from President Akufo-Addo to violate the laws of the land.

“She should know that, without a doubt, President John Mahama is entitled to a fully functional office after his term as President and this office should be provided by Government.

“Also, what are these rants and raves on an alleged GHS14 million supposed to have been paid to JM in 2013 as ex-gratia?” She asked.

Dr Sawyerr on that note challenged the Chief of Staff, Frema Osei-Opare, or any of her representatives to come up with “the so-called evidence that government pays for John Mahama’s office at Cantonments”.

Dr Sawyerr who served as Deputy Chief of Staff under the John Dramani Mahama-led administration is of the view that representatives of the government have resorted to running helter-skelter in the media space and “spewing garbage and pointing to certain payments for staff that have been done.”

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