Allowance refund: Theresa Awuni blasts First lady for ‘engaging in criminality’
Member of Parliament for Okaikoi North, Theresa Awuni has descended heavily on the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo over the payment of emoluments for presidential spouses.
The First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, announced Tuesday the release of a cheque of GHS899,097.84 to the State to settle all allowances paid to her from January 7, 2017, to date.
This comes after a public uproar over the government’s decision to pay her and the Vice President’s wife, Samira Bawumia monthly salaries equivalent to Cabinet Ministers.
Despite the commendation from some Ghanaians, Madam Awuni believes the First Lady engaged in criminality and chastised her for drawing the salaries in the first place to the detriment of Ghanaians.
“Come to my constituency, there are schools that are dilapidated and have become death traps yet students enter them and study but the government has the effrontery to pay wives of the president and his vice such huge amounts of money,” he fumed in an interview with Prince Minkah on Dwaboase.
“This is not only annoying but criminal,” she noted and explained that the country’s economy is not properly revived after the onset of the COVID-19 yet the government wants to spend heavily while citizens suffer in abject poverty due to the bad policies of the Akufo-Addo administration.
“See, there are NABCo employees who haven’t been paid for months. These people were shouting four more for Nana but today, they are suffering; the very person they campaigned for is rendering them hungry,” the MP said in Akan as she argued that presidential spouses must not be paid.
Her disappointment follows a demand from the Minority for a probe into the accounts of the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, by the Auditor General after she announced the release of a cheque of GHS899,097.84 to the State to settle all allowances paid to her since January 7, 2017.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday evening, the Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi, said there was the need for clarity on the use of the allowance and the exact source of the repaid amount.
“Since 2017 that she started taking this salary, does it mean that she doesn’t spend the money and she kept the money in her account all this while? If the answer is yes; it means that she did not need this money so why did she take the money in the first place?” he quizzed.
In addition, he said, “all state funding of her NGO should be audited by the Auditor-General and all that money should be refunded to the state because she is not interested in receiving state support.”