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Governance expert Dr Eric Oduro Osae has explained that Asantehene Otumfuo Osei II may have played an important role in former president John Mahama’s decision to back down on his request to keep his official bungalow as part of his ex gratia.
Mr Mahama, in his letter to President Nana Akufo-Addo communicating his intention to no longer pursue the state bungalow, copied Asante monarch Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, leaving many Ghanaians wondering why he would involve the respected the respected traditional ruler.
Explaining the contents of the letter in an interview with Nabil Ahmed Rufai on Class FM’s 12 Live on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) said: “What is curious, though, is copying the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. What it tells me as a governance person is that Otumfuo played a crucial role in ensuring the resolution of this matter. That is why he (Mr Mahama) chose to copy him. If that is the case then I think as a country we should try as much as possible to ensure that chieftaincy becomes the centre of our democratic institution.”
Meanwhile, Dr Osae has said that the decision by Mr Mahama to withdraw his initially expressed interest in keeping his official residence as part of his retirement package exalts his status as a statesman.
Mr Mahama personally wrote to the Flagstaff House to rescind his interest, stating that he was ready to move out of the state bungalow which he occupied as his residence during his tenure in office.
Mr Mahama said in part: “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 Cantonment, and also to use bungalow No.6 3rd Avenue Ridge, as my office.”
For Dr Osae the latest development “goes to deepen our democracy”, adding: “What it has done is that it has dignified and solidified his status and his position and stature as an elderly statesman in this country.”