The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) says President Nana Akufo-Addo could not have used his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to address all issues on the minds of Ghanaians.
A Deputy Communications Director of the NPP, Yaw Preko, who made this known on Morning Update jumped to the defence of President Akufo-Addo and said the issues he addressed were general issues that affected Ghanaians living every where.
The Minority in Parliament led by Tamale South MP reacting on the sidelines of the address said they were disappointed that President Akufo-Addo failed to tell Ghanaians the true state of the economy.
Apart from his silence on the current debt plaguing the country, Mr. Iddrisu said he failed to address the violence that characterised the elections in some parts of the country that got some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) maimed and killed in the Techiaman South and Ablekuma Central.
The Minority also said the president was also silent on what they described as the true number of Ghanaians who had been made jobless as a result of the impact of COVID-19 and the banking sector clean-up.
But reacting to the issues, Preko said, “If you want him [the president] to talk about specifics like things that happened in Techiman [during the elections], somebody elsewhere may also want him to talk about something that happened in probably Assin Fosu or something that happened in Asante Akyem North or something that happened in Akatsi.”
To him, the president gave an overall assessment, and an overall view of what happened in the country but that did not mean he would single out specifics and address them one after the other because “everybody somewhere within the country may have something he or she expects the president to talk about” and added, “And you can’t have him touching on everything at the same time.”
Reacting to why President Akufo-Addo did not comment on the drowning of some 20 teenagers at Apam in the Central Region, Preko said arrangements had already been made for the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson to visit the deceased families.
Preko stated “It wasn’t going to be proper for the president to preempt whatever arrangement they had made for the minister to visit the place. It was probably going to be a lip service for the president to stand out there and speak about Apam when he had not or his office had not been on the ground to see how the situation is for themselves.”
He also indicated that Madam Koomson conveyed the President’s condolence to the families of the teenagers who lost their lives last weekend.
When host Eric Ahinayo asked if the president was choosing what was of interest to him to address on national platforms, Preko denied it and said he had the nation at heart and would pursue the country’s development agenda.
On his part, the president could not have spoken about the election violence merely because NDC members were affected and further called for the country to heed the call of Nana Akufo-Addo and unite.
“If we want to go into these specifics people may start talking what happened in the past and had not been addressed…these are things you wouldn’t want to encourage,” Preko urged.
He continued, “If people decide to take the laws into their own hands to do things that are untoward, being it NPP members or NDC members or whichever political party, you allow the laws to work. You don’t try to impose your emotions or force your expectations on the president or compel him to say things you want to hear because it probably happened to your political party.”
“Now you want us to go back to things that happened in the elections?” he quizzed and said that was not necessary and urged that the country be united because opting for violence was never an option for the country.
“I never endorse political violence; I never in my life want to be associated in any way to political violence,” he said whilst explaining that political power has never lied in the hands of one political party, and for that matter when he endorses violence, his opponent will definitely retaliate and the results will retrogress the country when power changes hands.
“I condemn what happened in Techiman; I in no way endorse it. Never! but I think it is something we can put behind us and encourage people to see elections as a contest of ideas and not the contest of weapons and maiming and destructions. No, no, no.”
“What happened in Techiman is condemnable just as what happened in Cherepone is condemnable, just as what happened in Talensi is condemnable, just as what happened in Acherensua is condemnable, just as what happened in Amenfi West is condemnable, Just as what happened in Atiwa is condemnable… Let’s not encourage people to think that we must always use thuggery, force to get what we think is rightfully ours.”
Preko went on to encourage members of various political parties to use legitimate means to address electoral disputes and rather shy away from barbarity before, during, and after elections.