Mahama Referral of Government Officials as "Akyem Sakawa People" Unacceptable - President Akufo-Addo
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 distrubed 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