Ex-president John Mahama’s rescission of his earlier request to keep his official bungalow as part of his retirement package saved President Nana Akufo-Addo some headache, Information Minister-designate Mustapha Hamid has said. Mr Mahama, following a public backlash in connection with his request, as well as a denial by the new government of there being an agreement between the two administrations for him to keep his No. 3. Prestige Link, Cantonments official home, wrote to Mr Akufo-Addo to withdraw his interest. Mr Mahama’s letter said: “I refer to our agreement on the above subject matter and wish to inform you that I have decided to formally withdraw both requests to continue to stay at my current place of residence, No. 3. Prestige Link, Cantonments and also to use bungalow No. 6, 3rd Avenue, Ridge as my office. “It would appear that these requests threaten to mar the spirit of cooperation with which we as co-chairs of the Joint Transition Team have managed the smooth transfer of power from my administration to yours. I believe that this controversy is absolutely not needed in these early days as your Government settles into office. “I do recognise that these are facilities that are conventionally extended to presidents that leave office and I am also mindful of the approval by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana on Wednesday, 4th January, 2017 at its Twenty-Second Sitting of the Third Meeting of the Fourth Session. “You will recall, Mr President that contrary to the erroneous impression created by some persons in Government and the interpretation given to the formal letter submitted on my behalf by Mr. Julius Debrah, this was a follow up to an agreement we had on my choice of accommodation and office. I had never requested to purchase the property. My request is, therefore, humbly withdrawn. “As always, my family and I wish you well in your endeavours as you strive to consolidate and advance the gains made by successive Governments.” Speaking to the issue on the Point Blank segment of Eyewitness News on Accra-based Citi FM on Thursday, Mr Hamid told Richard Dela Sky: “Every president or former president deserves a decent settlement. This former president (Mr Mahama) said he wanted this particular type of settlement. That was a huge matter – it’s not the kind of decision that the president takes on the spur of the moment, so, while he [Mr Akufo-Addo] was at it, thinking through and seeking the relevant counsel and so on as to what to do, then the former president brings a letter and says: ‘I have withdrawn, so, it saves him [Mr Akufo-Addo] the headache of the consultative processes and happen to come to a decision, that’s what happened.”
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