By Frank Amponsah
President Akufo-Addo has called out comments made by former President John Mahama, that some government officials who hail from the President’s home town, Kyebi, are “Akyem Sakawa people”, as unacceptable and ought to have been condemned, particularly by catholic bishops.
The President registered his displeasure when he addressed the Catholic Bishops Conference at the Jubilee House, when they paid a courtesy call on him.
“Archbishop, this name calling seems to be a feature of Ghanaian public life. But sometimes, when things come out, we would hope that you will comment on them. The comment made by my opponent, “Akyem Sakawa people,” I have not heard any public figure, independent person, yourselves, comment on it. It is completely unacceptable. If I were to get up to make comments about Northerners or Gonjas, you can imagine the uproar that would be in the country. Presidential candidate, a former President of Ghana, you can call a group of Ghanaians “sakawa people”, and it involves the group for which the sitting President comes, and that statement goes without comment, and at the same time we hear all these statements, “let all try and bring the politics of insults to an end.” Occasions are given where specific comments can be made, nothing happens and it is lost in the generalities. We need to focus on this matter in an even-handed way,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“I am very disturbed by the comments the former President Mahama made about Akyem people as “sakawa people” and up till today, I have not heard any senior citizen of this country, lay, religious, civil society organizations (CSOs), public think tanks, reprimand him for that statement. What can be the basis of such a remark? This is a public Act that you have a problem with, fair enough, but then, the people that are doing it are given this ethic branding. It cannot be right. This is the kind of language that we do not want in our politics,” the President added while he expressed his disdain for the comments of the flagbearer of the NDC.
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale and President of the Catholic Bishop Conference, Most. Rev. Philip Naameh, in his speech delivered before the remarks of President Akufo-Addo, requested of him to grant the Catholic University College, a Presidential Charter, to make the University an independent degree awarding institution. Touching on the politics of insult, the Catholic Priest asked the President to ensure that all those who will speak for him during the electioneering campaign, do so with decorum.
“We encourage you Mr. President to ensure that those who speak and campaign for you do so respecting your own values and etiquettes,” Most. Rev. Philip Naameh said.
President Akufo-Addo while welcoming the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference, indicated that the time had come for the Bishops and all other senior citizens to condemn public and political figures in Ghana when they make distasteful comments that promote ethnic sentiments and divisions.
“When things happen, we deal with them on their merit. We don’t worry ourselves whether he is in government or opposition, if what they have said is unacceptable, it should be pointed out to them. It goes for me. If the President opens his mouth, says something that is unacceptable, he should be reprimanded,” President Akufo-Addo said
Reject Anyone Who Will Divide Us On Tribal Lines – Bawumia
Ghanaians have been urged to roundly reject any person who seeks to attain higher office by inciting and fanning divisions between the various ethnic groups that have existed peacefully in Ghana.
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who gave the advice while addressing the chiefs and people of Gushegu in the Northern Region on Sunday, 6th April, 2020, underscored the need for Ghanaians to peacefully co-exist irrespective of their religious and ethnic differences in order to achieve national cohesion and development.
He stated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo though an Akyem, has achieved the long-held desire of restoring peace and tranquillity in Dagbon after decades of strife and misunderstanding over chieftaincy.
“President Akufo-Addo is an Akyem but he was particularly troubled by the lack of peace in Dagbon. The attainment of peace had eluded many governments before him, but as he promised in 2016, he has ensured the performance of the final funeral rights for a new Ya-Na to be enskinned. The Akyem man. This is why we must continue to support him because no amount of money can buy peace. Let us vote for him in December”, he said to a thunderous applause.
He added, “We must ensure that we reject a President who will divide our ranks and ensure that we are not one people because this will rob us of the needed development. You cannot fan tribalism and divisions in your bid to rule Ghana.
“Recently President Mahama described a whole tribe as Sakawa (fraudsters). How do you take a whole tribe and say they are Sakawa? How do you do that? My message to Mr John Mahama is that you cannot win the Presidency with tribalism. Ghana has gone beyond tribalism. Come and show your competence in delivery to the people of Ghana. Because you cannot show your competence, you are resorting to tribalism. We (Ghanaians) will not stand for tribalism” the Vice President declared.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo remains a man of peace and unity, and Ghanaians will endorse his tireless efforts to make Ghana a peaceful, united country with one destiny, Vice President Mahama emphasised.