Director at Centre for Asian Studies-University of Ghana, Dr Lloyd Amoah has asked the First and Second Ladies Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Samira Bawumia respectively, to be guided in their responses to the public outcry against the allowances they were paid.
His comments come after Mrs Akufo-Addo has refunded all the allowances paid her since 2017.
On Tuesday July 13, she issued a Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited cheque for GH¢899,097.84 as a refund of all allowances received since 2017.
She had announced on Monday, July 12, that due to the “extremely negative opinions” which have laced conversations on her allowances, she was refunding every pesewa.
She also served notice not to receive any monies that have been allocated to be paid to her pursuant to recommendations of the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee, which was tasked in 2019 to review emoluments of Article 71 office holders.
She found the public debate “distasteful, seeking to portray her as a venal, self-serving and self-centered woman who does not care about the plight of ordinary Ghanaian”.
Barely 24 hours after that, her office has written to the Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare, to present the cheque number for the full refund of the monies.
“Her Excellency, the First Lady remains committed to her role as First Lady and is devoted to her charity work championing the wellbeing of women and children in Ghana,” wrote Mrs Shirley Laryea of the Office of the First Lady.
Second Lady Samira Bawumia has also announced that she will refund all allowances paid her since 2017, when her husband became the Vice President of Ghana.
A statement issued by her office on Tuesday, July 13 also indicated that Mrs Bawumia will not accept any monies allocated her as per recommendations by the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu Committee.
“Mrs Bawumia continues to be committed to the service of the nation,” the statement noted.
In a Facebook post reacting to this development, Dr Amoah said “What if we also decide that to reject your services from 2017 to date? The responses to these things must be measured. Pay attention.”
Founder of the All Peoples Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga, has also disagreed with the decision of the Mrs Akufo-Addo to refund all the allowances paid her.
Mr Ayariga stated that First Ladies play an important role in the governance of the country through the emotional and physical support they give to the president.
Therefore, he said, they deserve to be paid the allowances.
“First, I think it is a wrong idea that she [Rebecca Akufo-Addo] refunded the money,” he said on Good Evening Ghana on Tuesday July 13.
“If the president is not well the First Lady is the first person to know,” he further stated while explaining the role of the First Lady.