Former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, has reacted to a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere-Darko’s comments against the protest by pensioners following their inclusion in the domestic debt exchange programme.
Speaking to journalists after joining pensioners to picket at the Finance Ministry for the second time on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, Ms Akuffo revealed that she is unfazed by the statement made by Mr Otchere-Darko.
In a tweet, Mr Otchere-Darko criticized Sophia Akuffo for joining pensioner bondholders to picket to demand the total exclusion of their funds from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme. He stated that while he sympathizes with those picketing, he finds it difficult to understand why they are asking “to be exempted from an improved offer programme which is voluntary”.
“Is he a member of the government? He doesn’t decide for me what I need to do and what I do not need to do. It is as simple as that. I don’t have time for things like that, people like that are not important to me or to my life. He is a disturbance.”Sophia Akuffo
Commenting on a letter sent to finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, by the Pensioners Bondholders Forum, Ms Akuffo noted that she has her reservations over the fact that Mr Ofori-Atta listens to the concerns of others and responds to their letters regarding the domestic debt exchange programme, but does not respond to pensioners who have written to him to exclude them from the programme.
Ms Sophia Akuffo insisted that the finance minister must exempt pensioners from the programme.
“A simple letter that was written by the association to the Minister of Finance, that exempt us from your programme. That is the gist, I always like to distil things to their lowest common denominator, exempt us, we are pensioners. Up till now, I have seen a copy of the letter, it has been dated 7th January… There has not been a note of acknowledgement and just a few days similar letters that were written to the Minister have been responded to whereby he has categorically exempted other groups. Why?”Sophia Akuffo
The former Chief Justice explained that once she cannot fathom the reasons for something being done in a particular way especially when it has been done for others, it seems rather cagey to her. To this end, she noted that she has “grown to the age where I have seen it all”.
Minority leader reacts to Gabby’s comments
Meanwhile, Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, has hit back at Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, following the latter’s critique of former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo.
Reacting to Gabby’s attack on the former Chief Justice, Mr Forson, who is also Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam Constituency defended Madam Akuffo whiles pointing out that Gabby rather goofed with his reaction.
“It is Gabby rather who has goofed big time. As for me, the former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo has won my respect forever. Because for a country to develop, you need the right people to speak up at the right time. She has proven to be one person who has stood up for the country in these difficult times. This is a relative of President Akufo-Addo, she was appointed by him as a head of an arm of government.”Cassiel Ato Forson
The minority leader commending Ms Akuffo, lauded her ability to be steadfast in her position concerning her government’s inclusion of pensioners in government’s programme.
“Someone who found it prudent to talk because Ghana was heading for destruction, and she stood up and spoke. So what Gabby is doing, he should stop it.”Cassiel Ato Forson