Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s First Lady, has shocked many after offering to refund all the allowances she has received since the her husband assumed office in 2017.
She also stated that she is not going to accept a salary which was recently approved by the country’s parliament, adding that she did not request to be paid and had only received that which existed and attached to her status, albeit informally.
Her decision came following a public outcry over salaries.
Last week, Ghanaians expressed outrage at the decision by MPs to approve salaries for the wives of the president and vice-president for the supportive role they play.
They were set to receive about $3,500 a month, the same amount as cabinet ministers following a 2019 recommendation by a parliamentary committee.
Ghanaians questioned the capacity in which such an allocation would be made to the said spouses.
The First Lady then responded on Monday, July 12, describing some of the reactions from Ghanaians as distasteful and seeking to portray her as “a venal, self-serving and self-centred woman” who is insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Office of the First Lady, Mrs Akufo-Addo indicated that her decision to refuse the offer is a personal one “without prejudice to the rights of others and does not undermine the propriety of the process undertaken by Parliament.”
The First Lady’s statement reads in part: “The public discussion has been laced with some extremely negative opinions, in some cases, which she finds distasteful, seeking to portray her as a venal, self-serving and self-centred woman, who does not care about the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.
“In view of this, the First Lady, in consultation with the President of the Republic, has decided to refund all monies paid to her as allowances from the date of the President’s assumption of office, i.e., from January 2017 to date, amounting to GHC 899,097.84.”
The statement continued: “The First Lady will continue to support the President, as she has always done, in the execution of the mandate entrusted to him by the good people of Ghana.”