The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) says former president John Mahama is engaging in empty rhetoric regarding his pledge to amend Article 71 when he’s voted into power.

Mr Mahama has promised he will review ex- gratia and other benefits of Article 71 office holders and continue the review process of the 1992 Constitution started under late president Mills.

However, addressing a press conference on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the Director of Communications of the NPP, Richard Ahiagbah said, “Mahama became president in 2012, barely a year after the acceptance of the recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission. All President Mahama needed to do was to present a draft bill to Parliament, per Article 290 (2), to trigger the amendment process. But as the talk master general, former president Mahama did not act on the white paper.

“Instead, he ignored the white paper to create and benefited from emolument committees- two of them. Mahama is the first living and serving president who added his spouse to the under-table payments, which used to be for widows of former Presidents only. How insincere and confused can a former President be if not for political mischief?

“So, from all indications, former president Mahama loves Article 71 because he preserved it for himself when he got the golden opportunity to repeal it. In other words, what former president Mahama is saying today cannot be taken seriously because he has already failed Ghanaians on this matter.”

Mr Ahiagbah added, “There is something very cynical about the former president’s blatant falsehoods about his enjoyment of the privileges of Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution … we have assembled the relevant documentation that suggests former President Mahama is enjoying and has not been denied any of his article 71 guaranteed benefits.”

“So, the question is, what does former President Mahama wants to achieve with these needless falsehoods? Could it be so that he can pretend to champion the clamour for the repeal of Article 71? Evidence of this rather unholy politics of former President Mahama abound.”

He rubbished Mr Mahama’s claim that he pays his own bills.

“We have evidence of correspondence between former President Mahama’s office and the Chief of Staff contradicting his claims on the Ghana Tonight Show. We also have a letter from the former President’s office introducing his staff and whom the state should pay. We have correspondences from the office of the Chief of Staff facilitating the payment of these salaries.”

“Former President Mahama’s denial that he is actively accessing his emolument benefits simply exploits the sympathies of unsuspecting Ghanaians. There is no record anywhere that former President Mahama has been renounced or that the government has denied former President Mahama his emolument or entitlement,” the Director of Communications added.

“These bizarre and downright false claims by the former president speak to a grand electoral strategy driven by desperation and deception.”

Mr Ahiagbah called on the former president to repudiate all the Article 71 benefits if he wants Ghanaians to take him seriously.

“If former Mahama wants to be taken seriously, he should go ahead and repudiate all the Article 71 benefits he has gladly enjoyed from 2013 to date. But trust me, former president Mahama will not renounce these benefits because he loves the provisions of Article 71,” the former Danquah Institute Executive Director said.