Apart from pride, what is stopping Ken Ofori-Atta from responding to pensioner bondholders – Sophia Akuffo
Apart from pride, what else is stopping the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta from responding to pensioner bondholders in writing on the status of their government bonds in relation to their call for an exempt in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), the immediate past chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo has questioned.
To her, the pensioner bondholders have written to the Finance Ministry, asking for a total exempt from the government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) but as of now, they have not even received a note acknowledging receipt of their letter or a response in writing.
She questioned why other groups wrote letters to the Finance Ministry on a similar issue after the pensioners had sent theirs, but those groups have received responses and yet the pensioners were yet to hear from the minister in writing.
“It will be better for all of us and the nation too that, he [Finance Minister] responds to the letter that we sent him.”
It is their [Pensioner Bondholders] argument that the government must officially write to exempt them from the DDEP.
They insist the sector Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta must follow this up with a public announcement that they have been exempted.
Without that, they intend to continue protesting and meet the leadership of Parliament on Thursday until their issue is resolved.
Government has exempted others including the Ghana Medical Association, NAGRAT and others, why not we the Pensioners, ” Dr Adu Anane Antwi, convener of the Pensioner Bondholders stated.
Speaking to journalists Tuesday morning in Accra, where the immediate past Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo had joined other Pensioners for the protest, they called for fair play as they claim they are being sacrificed for the lot.
Asked for a comment on whether there was a mistrust for government and that is why she [Sophia Akuffo] is still joining the protest even though government has said maturing coupons will be paid, Justice Akuffo said, “paper talks, paper talks, empty talks fly with the wind.”
“So we are waiting when they become due we shall see, it will be better that for all of us and for people who have served the nation…”
Justice Sophia Akuffo said the pensioner bondholders chose not to sign unto the DDEP but, “now the way things are going, what I sense and what I smell is the creation of two categories of people, of two classes of people, those who have been exempted by the issuer… now they are calling those who refused to sign unto the debt exchange, they are calling them self exempt, they simply refused to sign and they simply want to sign unto the original bond that they had with the government.”
“The word bond is not used as a casual term, bond means tied to [my word is my bond], and when a government bond can be tossed up and down like that, flip flop, that is a serious thing. For me my problem with this whole thing is the destruction of the image of this nation, and something which is being done for generations.”
“It took a long time before the normal Ghanaian will even buy anything that is government, because there was always the suspicion, tomorrow, you don’t know what happens.
Now they are re-introducing that. The letter that was written to the minister, exempt us from your programme, we are pensioners. Up till now, I have seen a copy of the letter, up till now, there is not even a note of acknowledgement and yet a few days ago, similar letters written to the Minister have been responded to, whereby he has categorically exempted other groups, why?”
“And you know what, I cannot fathom the reason for something being done in a particular way, especially when its been done for others but its not being done for others, I start getting suspicious, I have grown to the age where I have seen it all, and therefore I easily become suspicious.”