Government Communicator, Kofi Tonto has asked the government to empathize with Ghanaians and find a better way to resolve the issues with bondholders regarding its Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
Former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo joined a crop of pensioners picketing at the Finance Ministry on Friday, February 10 to stop the government from using the bond yields of pensioners.
The pensioners have been picketing at the Ministry since Monday, February 6 to be exempted from the Programme.
Speaking to the media, she described as “wicked” and “disrespectful” government’s decision to include pensioners in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
She said; “We are over 70 years now, I am no longer government employed, my mouth has been unguarded and I am talking and I am saying that we have failed and it is important that the elderly should be respected. I find this wicked, I find it disrespectful, I find it unlawful, I find it totally wrong.”
“These are all people who have worked, they have worked very hard, they could have left the country when others were going but they stayed, they worked for the nation…Quite a number of people here today, when they retired last two years they have put everything into government bonds, it is a contract and now all of a sudden, you virtually want to force them to agree with you that the repayment of the yield of their investment should be as you dictate it. Why?”
“Why are we in the mess? Nobody has fully explained to us, yes we took debt, what was it used for? and where is the accountability? Exactly what was it used for? You are not telling us about how you are going to be able to make things better but just that ‘help me and I help you’, no, you help yourself first, let me see you doing something serious because we have seen these sort of things too many times”, she added.
Tackling the matter, Kofi Tonto appeared lost for words that it has come to a point where a former Chief Justice appointed by President Nana Addo would join the crusade for the government to reconsider its decision.
“This is a woman who just about three or four years ago was the fourth in command in this Republic. It may be that her money is not part but rather her relative’s or that she feels for the ordinary Ghanaian,” he said.
He appealed to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to heed the calls by the bondholders stressing “we should apologize to the bondholders. As a government, we have to listen to them. We have to empathize with them. We must do everything necessarily possible to bring them on board”.
He said this during a panel discussion programme on Peace FM’s morning show “Kokrokoo”.