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Ghana News

The story of a news item, and how a friend prompted Sophia Akuffo’s decision to picket over DDEP

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In 2023, one of the most significant business-political concerns occurred when a former Chief Justice of Ghana, Sophia Akuffo, made history by becoming the first of ‘her kind’ to join a citizen-organized public protest against her own ‘government.’

This occurred at a period in which certain elderly government bondholders picketed outside the Ministry of Finance for several days in protest of the government’s plan to include their bonds in a Domestic Debt Exchange Program (DDEP).

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But when the former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, joined the pensioners in picketing on Friday, February 10, 2023, it heightened national interest and talks over the DDEP.

Almost a year after the historic’showdown,’ Sophia Akuffo has described her reasoning and why she felt compelled to join the picket line.

In an interview with Bridget Otoo of Metro TV, she revealed that a news article she saw two days previously, as well as a lunch meeting the day before, convinced her that she wanted to be a part of the picket line.

“Well, I think it was rather the previous day, but the day before that previous day, I happened to be watching the news and then I saw my age group and older with placards. And, by that, I was already a bit concerned as to what the bond exchange was going to amount to…

“… we had been assured that older people were not even involved, and for that matter, pensioners and even pension funds, as at that time, and individuals who were over a certain age, were not going to be included. So, when I saw these people, I was a bit concerned.

“But the next day, I happened to go to a lunch where the matter came up and we were talking about it and I said jokingly I even thought I said this friend of mine among the protesters and was it her? And then it also happened that she is also a niece of the person sitting next to me, and he said, ‘Yes, it was her,’ and I said why should she be included. And then that was when I really found out that it had been announced that pensioners – individual pensioned bondholders were also included.

“And my concern was not so much about myself, because really, I didn’t have much invested in the government bonds, but I know I had some government bonds as well… I phoned this friend of mine and I said, ‘I saw you and your uncle said it was you,’ and she said yes. And I said, ‘Is everything ok now?’ she said ‘no.’ ‘Are you doing it tomorrow?’ she said, ‘Yes,’ and I said, ‘I’ll come and join you,’” she explained.

 

 

 

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