A Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante, has described the comments of the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at Mepe as unfortunate, unnecessary, insensitive, and unfair to the people of the Volta Region.
According to Dr. Asah-Asante, the President’s comments undermined the spirit and letters of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
He argued that the presidential oath of office obliged the President to the service of the Ghanaian people, wherever they live.
“I will describe it as unfortunate, unnecessary, insensitive, and unfair to the people of the Volta Region. And above all, it undermines the spirit and letters of the Constitution.
“You look at the Constitution, the presidential oath is there; I,…having been elected to the high Office of the President…that, I will dedicate myself to the service of the wellbeing of Ghanaians, do right to all manner of people, and also dedicate myself to the service and wellbeing of the people of Ghana. And do right to all manner of people. So even if the people are not Ghanaians, you owe it a duty to yourself, to the constitution, and the good people of this country, that you do them good, all manner of service and all [of] that. So why, Mr. President, why this comment?”Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante
He further argued that, the forum at which the president made those remarks was also wrong.
“And unfortunately, so, that was not the proper forum. It was the wrong forum, they lawyers say that. The forum did not warrant that type of comment; you have to vote for me. That is unfortunate.”Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante
His argument was premised on the idea that the president is supposed to provide support for everybody. He described the president as the father of all and indicated that he is the symbol of the state, not only at home but abroad as well. Hence, if he could not even be there for all, how then will he symbolize the state when he is outside this country?
“I think, Mr. President, I am sorry, you did not do well at all”, Dr. Asah-Asante reiterated.
He insisted that the President had no grounds to make those comments even if the New Patriotic party had no votes at all from the Volta Region. However, the NPP having won the Hohoe seat and over 100,000 votes in the Volta Region in 2020 General Elections, he found the comments very unfortunate.
He believes that the President should have only expressed his empathy, sympathized with them, and pledged his support to them.
He further seized the opportunity to remind the President of his commitment to continue to call out the president any time he does something untoward while he (Dr. Asah-Asante) supports his government to succeed.
“He knows more than I do as far as the Constitution is concerned. We want him to know that he will serve us at all times and we will give him the necessary respect at all times. We will support him to succeed because it is part of our duty to support every government to succeed but when he also does something untoward, which is not in tune with the rules of the game, we will be quick to point it out to him with respect. This one we believe that he did not do well.”Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante
Dr. Asah-Asante Entreats Political Parties To Serve Ghanaians
Furthermore, he cautioned political parties of their opportunistic attitude to turn every situation into canvassing for votes for the next elections.
“It brings to mind the issues that always come to the fore that, … and you recall Mr. Vincent Asiseh, once upon a time told us that, political parties are like literal machines. They always look for opportunities to campaign for the next elections. Is that the case or not? It brings it to sharp focus. Is it always that you are looking for electoral victory or people to vote for you? No!”Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante
He urged political parties to provide services to the people which will convince the people to vote for them in the next elections.
“After you have been voted into office, you go by your oath by providing service, by supporting the people. When the time comes for them to vote, they can decide to vote for you or vote against you. And voting against you doesn’t mean that they hate you. They are exercising their right and nobody has any right to tell them the direction of their vote.
“The people who vote decide to vote in a particular direction and nobody has any right to comment on the direction and others. You can appeal to them as to whether they will accept your appeal is another one. But they will vote the way they want to vote at all times. Let politicians remember, that if you want their vote, do their bidding.”Dr. Kwame Asah-Asante
He said that political parties have the capacity to support citizens so as to have their votes.