Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, has justified his choice to return GHS365,392.67 that was given to him as an ex-gratia for sitting on the Council of State from 2017 to 2020.
The former National House of Chiefs President returned the aforementioned sum to the state in June of this year, citing the nation’s current economic circumstances as justification.
This action by the Asogli State’s Paramount Chief caused a significant uproar, and some government employees hauled him before the courts.
But speaking at an Anti-Corruption Day event organised by the Asogli Traditional Council on Saturday, as part of activities to mark this year’s Te Za of the Asogli people, Togbe Afede XIV defend his decision noting, “Yes, I will do it again…”.
“I returned the ex-gratia amount I was given not because I didn’t need the money. In fact, at that particular time, I needed money very badly to meet various family obligations. But I truly believe that money was not deserved.”
Togbe Afede further refuted charges that he was not a regular attendee of Council of State meetings and added that, in contrast to what was reported in the media when the controversy first arose, he never requested travel reimbursements from Ho, where he resided.
“I was one of the most active participants at the Council of State and registered as a resident of Accra and not Ho and never had any transport allowance.”
“Yes, I will do it again [reject ex-gratia], because our country is a very poor country so anybody who sacrifices or who has offered to voluntarily work for this country must be very considerate.”
The goal of the Anti-Corruption Day celebration is to mobilize the youth of Ghana to fight corruption by appealing to their moral fibers.
“The primary factor contributing to the nation’s underdevelopment is corruption, which requires our collective attention. The youth must be urged to join the battle against corruption since they are the future of the nation.
When there is a broader struggle to fight, it is heartbreaking to see university students fight among themselves.
Both the Vandals and Vikings of the Commonwealth and Katanga and Conti in Kumasi don’t need to engage in combat. Fight against anything that could jeopardize your future, Togbe Afede advised.
The Fourth Estate’s Manasseh Azuri Awuni, renowned broadcaster and singer Black Rasta, ASEPA’s Mensah Thompson, Ace-Journalist Eric Ahianyo, and other anti-corruption activists were among the speakers during Saturday’s Anti-Corruption Day celebration. They each took turns addressing the crowd.
“Let’s Eschew Greed, Unite for Peace, Development, and Prosperity” is the theme of the 2022 Asogli State Te Za (Yam Festival).