Mahama withdraws request to keep Cantonments residence, pointing out the need to maintain the cordial relationship between the two transition teams
Former President John Mahama has withdrawn a request to keep his Cantonments residence as a retirement package, following public controversy over his decision. The ex President in a letter addressed to the new government on Tuesday, said it was important to maintain the cordial relationship between the two transition teams.
After losing to President Nana Addo in the December 2016 elections, it was believed Mahama would vacate his place of residence; Bungalow No.3, Prestige Link, Cantonments, Accra. But controversy ensued when it was reported that the defeated President requested to keep his residence -now official residence of the Vice President, as his retirement home.
Ex President Mahama, through a letter signed by the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, dated 19th December 2016, informed the new government that he wanted to keep the Presidential residence as his retirement home. He also made a request for some adjoining properties to be given to him as his office.
His request however, created a public uproar, with many Ghanaians accusing the President of blatantly trying to acquire more than what has been approved for him by the state. Many critics opined that Mahama’s continued presence at the Cantonments residence is unlawful and has also left incoming Vice President Mahammudu Bawumia with no place to live.
Other critics also fumed that the said house is a state property used by several previous Vice-Presidents and should therefore not be given to Mahama. They demanded that the ex President chose any other property but not the Cantonments residence.
The ex President in a subsequent statement, had said his decision to maintain the state residence he occupied while in office, was approved by the new government led by Nana Akufo-Addo . However, the new transition team came up with a contradicting statement saying that the incoming government, is yet to approve former Mahama’s request to keep the property.
Mahama has now decided to bring to an end, the escalating controversy surrounding his request. In the said statement, Mahama withdraws request to keep the cantonments residence. The former President said it was important to maintain the cordial relationship between the two transition teams.
In the statement, Mahama pointed out that the controversy is needless, and is the last thing the new government needs for a successful transition.