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Akufo-Addo condemns Mahama’s ‘Akyem Sakawa’ comment

President Akufo-Addo says he is troubled by the Flagbearer of the NDC, John Mahama’s increasing love for preaching ethnocentrism in his campaign in the lead up to December 7, 2020 general elections.

The Ex-President recently posted an article on social media authored by Bolga Central MP Isaac Adongo on the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal which described some people in government as  “Akyem Sakawa people”.

President Akufo-Addo who himself is an Akyem expressed disquiet over the piece in a meeting with the Catholic Bishops Conference at the Jubilee House. He consequently urged well-meaning Ghanaians to condemn the act.

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, had earlier in a speech requested President Akufo Addo to grant the Catholic University College, a Presidential Charter, to enable the University to operate as an independent degree-awarding institution.

On the issue of politics of insult, Most. Rev. Philip Naameh, asked the President to ensure that his communicators during the electioneering campaign use decent language.

We encourage you Mr. President to ensure that those who speak and campaign for you do so respecting your own values and etiquettes.”

President Akufo-Addo in accepting the call stated that it was about time well-meaning Ghanaians condemn public and political figures when they go wrong.

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 stated.

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