They are considered as the mothers of the nation. A natural position bestowed upon them by virtue of their husbands occupying the first and second-highest position of the land. Rebecca Akufo Addo and Samira Bawumia are the incumbents wives of the President and the Vice President respectively, but whatever decision the nation takes today shall affect future occupiers of the office. Therefore, institutionalizing a salary for the office must be looked at wholistically and dispassionately.
To pay or not to pay? The little I have read on the arguments made for and against paying salary to the spouses of the President and vice President are all cogent and reasonable. Those in favour of paying for instance make the point that, these ladies do not engage in any form of commercial activities that brings then revenues. It is not as if they are bared from doing so, however, ethically and practically, it is almost an impossibility. The state, thus, must cater for them.
But the above argument is porous. The argument of not working can not and should be made for any first lady. The entire resources of the country are in the hands of her husband, not engaging in any form of employment takes nothing away from her. Again, spouses of the President, both incumbent and past, have all been receiving allowances anyway. The state is already paying for their office staff, including house helps.
They use their proximity to the office of the President to mobilize funds from cooperate organizations to undertake some social responsibility works. They lack nothing. Putting them on a salary structure like cabinet ministers, meanwhile, they have no any public service role to play is simply not it.
The illegality of what had been proposed has been established beyond contest. Making then article 71 office holders is unconstitutional. I understand some citizens have already gone to court in this regard.
In short, I side with those who are against the payment of a salary to the spouses of the first and second gentlemen. Not to overstretch the argument, but when this goes through, we shall later have to pay the wives of the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice. Do not make them official salary earners.
The worse part is that, this illegality, when allowed to stand, is taking a retroactive effect. Meaning, they will be paid from 2017 to date. This is outrageous. Don't pay them. Maintain the current arrangements.
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