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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s retort to the Paramount Chief of Aflao, Torgbui Adzongaga Amenya Fiti V, has elicited varied responses from different quarters.
As expected, it has been a stern critique from the side of the main opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, whereas members of the ruling New Patriotic Party either point to the jocular nature of the remark or point out the mistake of the Chief in his remarks that attracted the said response.
An NDC MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa of North Tongu, was the first to react to the President via a social media post barely hours after the comment was made on Accra-based Peace FM.
GhanaWeb looks at some lawmakers from the NDC stock and comments they have made relative to the issue.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa via social media handles
“Our revered chiefs and custodians of our proud traditions deserve utmost respect at all times regardless of which part of the country they exercise their authority.
“The venerable Torgbui Adzongaga Amenya Fiti V and the people of Aflao deserve an immediate retraction and apology from President AkufoAddo.
“No chief anywhere in Ghana should be spoken to with such derision, disrespect and condescension,” the MP wrote.
Dzifa Gomashie, MP for Ketu South
“Would our President say this to just any other Paramount chief? Paramount chiefs have been asking him for roads, for electricity, for water and so on, I’ve never heard him say anything like that in jest. I’ve never heard him respond to any of them as he did to mine,” she said.
“If he said it in jest he just has to come out and say it was in jest and he didn’t mean it and perhaps going forward he should not be saying things like
that because it hits hard. It hits really hard,” she observed in an interview with Accra-based Joy News channel.
Sam Nartey George on Good Morning Ghana
“It is President Akufo-Addo today who is literally insulting chiefs. He doesn’t respect Torgbui Fiti. Would he do that to Otumfuor or will he do that to the Okyehene? Can he respond to the Okyehene that way?”
When his co-panelist, Nana Akomea asked if Otumfuor will speak the way the Aflao chief did, he responded: “Ah. What did Otumfuor say, has Otumfuor not demanded that construction that has stalled in the Ashanti Region be completed?”
Whiles dismissing a further question as to whether the Otumfuor has given government any ultimatum, Sam George continued: “When president Akufo-Addo went to meet the Asantehene, Otumfuor looked him in the face – after the president had spoken of his unprecedented infrastructure drive – Otumfuor basically told him that what his people tell him is not what is on the ground.
“So Otumfuor told the president that he is sleeping on the job, why didn’t he respond to the Otumfuor?” he quizzed.
Clement Apaak, Builsa South MP
“I think it is most unfortunate. The President ought to withdraw that comment and apologize because that is not the best response one can expect from the person who is handling our public resources.”
“The chief does not hold our resources in our trust, he doesn’t superintend over our taxes collected by the state, he doesn’t appoint the Finance Minister.”
“I am shocked at why the President would have chosen the kind of response that he gave. That is not right [and] he is not setting a good example for the youth of this nation,” Dr. Apaak told JoyNews last week.