The Office of HE John Dramani Mahama has described as irresponsible and reckless, an allegation by Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul that the former president is occupying or has appropriated a land or property belonging to the Ghana Armed Forces.
In a strongly-worded statement released Thursday evening, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, Special Aide to the Former President, said while the minister did not provide any details of the said property, “we presume that the minister’s irresponsible claim is in respect of the current residence of the former first family.”
"President Mahama has not appropriated or acquired any land or property belonging to the military and which he is currently occupying," Joyce Mogtari stated.
According to the statement, the former president and his family as is commonly known, currently resides in a residential estate developed by a private real estate development company. The estate has been in existence for several years and the former first family lives peacefully with several Ghanaian and expatriate neighbours.
“This Office is appalled at the minister's unfounded accusation because any serious Defence Minister, with the Military Intelligence apparatus under him would know that President Mahama has no claim to the ownership of the land of the property in which he resides."
The Defence Minister, had demanded, when he addressed a Meet the Press session on Thursday, that John Mahama vacates the residence as it was sited on military land.
He criticized the previous administration for their poor handling of matters relating to the country’s armed forces, claiming that land belonging to the military had been sold off to government officials at the time.
"…I am talking about the former President, John Mahama. I will say no more, but I am very disturbed about this. It is happening in Tamale, it is happening in Takoradi and Lands Commission is colluding to do that. People in Lands Commission were selling Armed Forces lands. Not under this watch, that cannot happen any longer, and anybody who decides to encroach on Armed Forces lands should leave. It is not in your interest. I am sorry; but that is the truth that we did not manage the Armed Forces lands very well," he noted.
But clearly unhappy with Hon Nitiwul's remarks, the former president fought back, describing the comments made by the Defence Minister as irresponsible, and dismissed them as mere propaganda from a state official who is expected to act with more decorum.
He reminded the Defence Minister to concentrate on the responsibilities of his office instead of making spurious allegations.
“It is sad that the minister with oversight responsibility over our men and women in uniform, who risk their lives to preserve the security of our nation, would descend into the gutter and dabble in propaganda of the most undesirable kind. This behaviour falls short of the requirements of a Defence Minister whose office calls for sobriety and reflection”, the statement ended.