Former Chief Justice, Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo today the 10th February 2023 joined angry pensioners in a protest match to the finance ministry, demanding the exemption of retirees’ investments from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme being undertaken by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Akufo Addo led government. The former Chief Justice was concern about the fate of pensioners who are dissatisfied with their inclusion in the programme.
Speaking to the media, the stateswoman who served as chief Justice from 2017 until 20 December 2019 explained that she cannot stay unconcerned to an issue that has to do with the welfare and well-being of pensioners, saying “I’m seeing it purely from a legal point of view, their contractual rights being threatened. Then I have to say something. I have to join them in solidarity. Their pain is my pain because I have retired sisters, I have retired friends, and so on and so forth.”
She added that her ample retirement benefits by virtue of her position does not prevent her from solidarizing with others in a contrary predicament. Sophia Akuffo, while picketing the Finance Ministry along with aggrieved pensioners demanding the exemption of retirees’ investments from the programme hoisted a placard with the inscription ‘We depend on our bond yields to pay our rent, medical bills, electricity bills and water bills.’
“I find it wicked, I find it disrespectful, I find it unlawful, I find it totally wrong, period! Because you don’t solve your problems by sacrificing your aged. That is the last thing you should do,” she added in her comments to the media.
Members of the Pensioner Bondholders Forum on Monday, February 6, began picketing the Finance Ministry to demand a total exemption of their investments from the Domestic Debt Exchange programme which was first announced by the government on 5th December, 2022. The Government of Ghana had earlier proposed a 15% coupon rate. But the group of about 50 retirees, amid singing patriotic Ghanaian songs, have rejected same.
The group has been picketing the finance ministry since Monday pleading with the government to exempt them completely from the programme.