Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide says former President John Dramani Mahama owes it to Ghanaians to honour every national event like the Independence Day Celebration as he is under the care of the state as a former President.
According to him the former President in the event of his inability to grace a national event is mandated to explain to Ghanaians, his reasons for not attending.
Airing his personal view on the ongoing discussion, Stan Dogboe, aide to former President John Mahama said it was never mandatory for a leader of a political party or a former President to attend each and every event invited to just as is the case of the President himself.
Speaking further on the issue, he questioned the ‘concerns and interests’ of members of the ruling government in the absence of Mr. Mahama at the celebration given the fact that their boss (President Akufo-Addo) hates attending functions which are also attended by Mr. Mahama.
Pius Enam Hadzide said his checks showed that the state did not receive either a confirmation or a cancellation of the invitation.
“I have not seen any explanation as to why former President Mahama did not attend the 63rd Independence Anniversary,” he said.
Reacting to former President Mahama’s absence, the Deputy Minister for Information on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show said the former President should have written back to the organizing committee of his inability to honour the invitation.
” . . normally, we don’t often receive a confirmation except a cancellation. It is the norm for us to provide a seat for the former President and so if he does not write to tell us that he is not coming, the seat will be there without any occupant. . . he disrupted our plan . . . we didn’t know if it is due to lateness or absenteeism and we didn’t want a situation where someone will sit on the seat and later the former President will show up and then ask the person to get up, it will be embarrassing to witness that situation,” he stated.
He said it will be wrong for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to compare the action of former President John Dramani Mahama to that of then Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo who was a private citizen.
He added that “after the Supreme Court ruling on the 2012 election petition, even though Nana Addo at that time was a private citizen, unlike John Mahama, he attended national events under Mahama’s reign as President of Ghana.”
“We must know that Ghanaians are feeding former President John Dramani Mahama, the vehicles he drives and the state security he enjoys, as well as the staff in his office are paid, including the salary we pay him every month and so he does not have any option of serving the nation or not; he doesn’t have that choice,” he emphasized.