Former President John Dramani Mahama has appealed to the government to set a bailout plan to alleviate the distress of the customers of the defunct Menzgold Company Limited.
Mr Mahama made the appeal when the leadership of the group called on him at his Cantonments office in Accra last Friday to appeal to him to use his influence to intervene on their behalf for the state to mitigate their suffering.
The group decided to appeal to the two living former presidents, President Mahama and President John Agyekum Kufuor, to help retrieve their investment funds locked up in the supposed gold dealership as the Chief Executive Officer of the defunct company, Nana Appiah Mensah, aka NAM1, goes through criminal proceedings in court.
President Mahama expressed worry over the protracted process of prosecuting the case to reach a decisive outcome.
President Mahama, who is also the Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2024 general election, urged the state to pursue both civil and criminal proceedings to deal with the matter expeditiously to ensure justice for the customers of Menzgold to have some respite in life.
He said it was high time the government took possession of the company and its accounts, including confiscating and auctioning the assets, and using the proceeds to defray part of the money owed the customers.
He urged the government to be sensitive to the situation of the group and said the lives of some citizens of the country had been affected and the government must show its care.
President Mahama commiserated with families of the relatives of members of the group said to have died since the company was closed down by the government in 2018.
Speaking on behalf of the customers, Fred Forson acknowledged the influence of the two former presidents and appealed to them to use their offices to push the government to take immediate steps to address their situation.
He lamented the loss of about 217 of their members who, he said, had suffered various forms of social and health conditions since the company was closed down by the government.
Mr Forson noted that the criminal case against NAM1 was not enough to address their concerns and that the government could still use other means to come to their aid.
He said the lives of their members had become precarious and that if urgent steps were not taken to address their concerns, more of them would lose their lives.
Mr Forson said a bailout plan would provide the needed information on the steps the government would be using to tackle their predicaments.
Present at the meeting was the running mate to President Mahama in the 2020 general election, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, and a former Chief of Staff in President Mahama’s government, Julius Debrah.