Including our pensions in DDEP is wickedness, disrespectful – Sophia Akuffo

A former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, has rejected the government’s decision to include pension funds in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

The visibly angry former Chief Justice slammed the government for messing up the economy and attempting to forcibly include their pension funds in the debt restructuring exercise without accountability and engagement.

She described the move by the government as sheer wickedness and outright disrespect to the elderly who have sacrificed their lives for the development of the nation.

Speaking to journalists after she joined a group of pensioners to picket at the Finance Ministry on Friday, February 10, the former Chief Justice said “We have had our ups and downs. A lot of us were from generations where we were encouraged to save for tomorrow and all that. We have been through times where all your savings become nonsense because of some government policies, then over the years, bit by bit, people have become more confident in the economy and investments.

“Quite a number of people here today, when they retired last two years [ago] they put everything into government bonds, it is a contract and now all of a sudden, you virtually want to force them to agree with you that the repayment of the yield of their investment should be as you dictate it. Why?”

Madam Sophia Akuffo called on the government to be transparent and account to Ghanaians what led to the current economic crisis and what all the loans were used for.

“Why are we in the mess? Nobody has fully explained to us, yes we took loans, what was it used for? And where is the accountability? Exactly what was it used for? You are not telling us about how you are going to be able to make things better but just that ‘help me and I help you’, no, you help yourself first, let me see if you are doing something serious because we have seen these sorts of things too many times.

“I am over 70 years now, I am no longer government employed, my mouth has been ungagged, and I am talking, and I am saying that we have failed, and it is important that the elderly should be respected. I find this wicked, I find it disrespectful, I find it unlawful, I find it totally wrong.”