Former President John Dramani Mahama has withdrawn an earlier request to keep Bungalow No.3 of Prestige Link in Cantonments, “and its adjoining facilities as his retirement home.” This comes in the wake of controversy over his request.
Yesterday, sources in the government told manassehazure.com that the government had taken a decision to reject the request made by Former President John Dramani Mahama to keep his official residence in Cantonments, Accra. A letter to that effect, which was purported to have been released from the Office of the President and circulated on social media was fake, according to the sources. The sources, however, said a decision had been taken to deny the former President the house. “That letter is fake but the content is true. The decision has been taken that the house will not be given to him. It will be communicated later today.”
However, that communication did not come by the end of yesterday (January 10, 2017). Today, Former President Mahama released a statement indicating that he had withdrawn the request.
A letter dated December 19, 2016, and signed by the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, made a request to the Transition Team of the new government to allow Former President to keep Bungalow No.3 of Prestige Link in Cantonments, “and its adjoining facilities as his retirement home.”
The President also requested to have Bungalow No.6 on 3rd Avenue, Ridge, as his office.
The letter sparked widespread outrage among Ghanaians on social media, who are questioning why the former President would want to keep what has been used as the official residence of the Vice President of Ghana for years. President Mahama has been living there since he became Vice-President of Ghana in 2009.
The office of the former president responded in a press statement on Monday claiming that a deal had been reached for the former president to keep the house. The statement reads:
“Contrary to the claims being made that HE John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana, has refused to vacate his residence, we wish to state and confirm that per the information officially communicated to the newly inaugurated administration following discussions by the Joint Transition Team, President Mahama will continue to maintain his current place of residence as his retirement home.
“The decision and agreement on the place of residence and office for the former President was formally communicated to the new administration by the former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah on December 19, 2016.
“The Sixth Parliament of the 4th Republic before its dissolution, also resolved that residential and office accommodation should be provided to the outgoing President, HE John Dramani Mahama in line with convention and existing precedent.
“The claims that Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia is stranded and has nowhere to stay, is mischievous and deliberately intended to embarrass President Mahama.
“The Vice President is expected to take up residence in the House known as Australia House, which was previously occupied by former Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur.
“An Official and Permanent residence for the Vice President is currently under construction, off the Switchback road. Dr Bawumia will move into the new structure when completed.
Office of HE John Dramani Mahama
Former President of the Republic of Ghana
January 09, 2017.”
The head of the transition team, Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo, yesterday told Joy News that no agreement had been reached. He said the former Chief Justice only communicated a request to the team but that did not constitute an agreement to give the house to the former President.
A letter circulating on social media suggests that the government has rejected the offer. Sources at the Flagstaff House say that letter is fake, but a decision has been taken to deny former President Mahama’s request and will be communicated to Ghanaians by the close of today, Tuesday, January 10, 2017.