Akufo-Addo leaves NPP messy & unpopular in Ashanti region

22 October 2022

The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has rounded up his four-day tour of the Ashanti region, leaving his New Patriotic Party (NPP) in a very unpopular state in the hearts and minds of its stronghold with misguided statements and emotional outbursts, including remarks that those speaking ill of him in the region, will be embarrassed one after the other.

Prominent elements of the NPP, have since stepped forward either begging for forgiveness on his behalf or attempting to rationalize his statements days after the tour which also witnessed the President being jeered and booed in a region that gave him and his party massive support in the 2020 election.

They include the Chief Executive of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame Constituency, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Akwasi Amoako-Atta, the Minister of Roads and Highways.

But a Political Scientist, Jonathan Asante Okyere, insists President Akufo Addo’s statement that threats to vote against the NPP in the 2024 election does not frighten him, will surely affect the party’s electoral fortunes in the 2024 election.

The Political Science Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, urged the NPP National Council of Elders to speak to the President behind the scene on the need for him to be circumspect in his public political discourse, so he does not cause more problems for the party going into the 2024 election.

The Roads Minister in particular, has quickly jumped to assure the people of Kwabre East and Amansie of a massive road infrastructure to improve their living conditions.

Mr Amoako-Atta, claims that said works had been completed for the contractors to move to site in the next two weeks to reconstruct the deplorable road networks in those towns.

He said this at the sod-cutting ceremony to begin the construction of the Four-Tier Suame Interchange in Kumasi, adding the government would not disappoint the people.

The chiefs and people of the Kwabre East Constituency have, in recent times, complained about the poor road network and lack of other basic infrastructure such as a fit-for-purpose hospital. They claimed that the Constituency, which had delivered the highest votes for the ruling NPP in the last two elections, had been neglected by the Akufo-Addo government in terms of development to improve the living conditions of the people.

The people, led by Barima Saasi Ayeboafo II, Chief of Mamponteng, threatened to vote against the NPP in the 2024 elections, if their plea for improved road networks and basic infrastructure were not heeded.

The Amansie West and South districts, have the most deplorable road networks in the Ashanti Region, making them prone to accidents and armed robbery attacks, leading to loss of lives.
The President, on OTEC FM, was asked to respond to concerns by some residents in Manso and Kwabre, who are said to have pledged to vote against the NPP in the next general elections if he fails to fix their road networks.
“The people of Kwabre and Manso, we know they voted massively for Nana, they have asked me to inform the President that if their roads are not fixed, they will be pained and in 2024, they will vote against the NPP,” the journalist said.

President Nana Addo replied; “No problem, no problem.” He continued: “I am saying people make those kinds of threats, me, they don’t frighten me. Somebody votes for you, somebody supports you, it is because they want you to do things for them, so I understand that.

“There is no need for people to say if I do not do it, this or that. That is your own problem. Of course, I will fulfill my promises. But if it so happens that you decide to vote for the NDC, that is your problem, that is not mine. Nobody will hold your hand to thumbprint for any candidate, the most important thing is that I understand the responsibility and we will deal with it,” he stressed.

The President, has since been besieged with criticisms, following his response with some people saying he has disrespected the people.

But commenting on the President’s pronouncement in an interview on Kasapa 102.5FM/Agoo TV, the Political Science Lecturer, stated that the President was wrong in responding in such a manner.

“The President didn’t need to say that these things are going to affect the electoral fortunes of the party, it’s obvious. The fact is that the economic quagmire the country finds itself in will not make the NPP retain power in 2024. It is even going to become more difficult for the party based on the fact that the President is disrespecting people who have stood solidly behind the NPP over the years.”

He added: “Is President Akufo-Addo doing this deliberately or out of frustration? Or it’s his arrogant nature that we already know about him that is now on full display publicly just because he’s had his two terms. If it is frustration, we can pardon him, but if it’s deliberate then he’s scuttling the chances of those NPP aspirants who want to lead the party to victory in 2024.”
The EPA boss, Mr Kokofu, defended the President, saying he made no errors in his responses to an interview on a Kumasi-based radio station.

He begged that no one should take offence to the President’s statements, and explained that “the President meant you can voice your concerns. You can ask any questions at all” but “for you to use intimidation against him will not push him”.

He promised the people of the Ashanti Region that the President will complete their developmental projects.
For his part, Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu, says Ghanaians should not crucify President Akufo-Addo, over the comments, and insisted that the president might have been taken out of context by some section of Ghanaians.
The Majority Leader on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ programme, explained that the President in his answer to the questions posed to him by the Journalist, did not seek to disrespect residents of Kwabre or Ghanaians in general.

According to him, the President wanted to make it clear that he has a duty and owe it a duty to Ghanaians to provide for them basic infrastructure and that if they had a bad road network, he the President will ensure that the problem is attended to.

He claims some Ghanaians have taken the President’s response out of context and are cunningly trying to court some disaffection for him and the NPP.

“I will, however, plead with Ghanaians not to crucify the President for the misrepresentation of his answer by a section of the Ghanaian public, but rather consider the actual meaning of the answer provided.”

“The President and the New Patriotic Party for that matter cherish the concern and plight of Ghanaians in these economic hardships and that the President will do everything within his power to address these challenges,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional branch of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has criticized President Akufo-Addo’s just-ended tour of the Region describing it as full of tantrums and empty promises.
It argued that the Ashanti Region is no longer a stronghold for the New Patriotic Party, but has now turned into what it described as a strangling hold for the governing party.

The opposition NDC said it observed a cold reception that turned into booing and jeering when the president visited the Ashanti region on his four-day working tour.

Addressing the media, the Regional Communications Director of the NDC, Nurudeen Abass contended the president had nothing substantial to show to the Ashanti region for all the revenues and votes the Nana Addo administration enjoyed from the region.

“Distinguished friends from the media, it goes without saying that President Akufo-Addo’s latest tour of his favourite political backyard was nothing short of underwhelming. With nothing by way of any worthy accomplishments, President Akufo-Addo went about inspecting and commissioning mediocre and mundane projects which ordinarily should be the work of DCE’s and other government officials. To imagine that the President was driven in a convoy of nearly 70 V8’s to commission a magistrate court building at Toase, sums up what miserable spectacle of a tour it was.

“It is important to remind ourselves that when President Mahama and the NDC constructed a brand new High Court building at Obuasi in 2016, the then Regional Minister and MCE for Obuasi at the time did the honour of commissioning the same. This is for us, the difference between the Nation-Builder, President John Dramani Mahama and the Family Builder, His Excellency William Akufo-Addo. Whereas one of them – President Mahama, built legacy projects in the Ashanti Region, such as the $234 million Kejetia Central Market project, the largest investment in the history of the Ashanti Region, the Kumasi Airport Phase II, Rattray Park, Konongo-Kumawu-Kwahu Water Project, the 500-bed Military Hospital at Afari, the 250-bed Regional Hospital at Sewua, the other – President Akufo-Addo, has very little to show for all his unprecedented borrowing and the huge votes he enjoys from the people of the region.

“Indeed, the popularity of the New Patriotic Party and President Akufo-Addo for that matter is so low in their own stronghold that they have resorted to emulating the NDC’s hugely successful membership drive in the Ashanti Region in order to try and revive their sinking fortunes. For a party that garnered as much as 1.8 million votes out of a total of 2.5 million valid votes cast in the 2020 elections to be conducting a membership registration drive in their supposed comfort zone two years down, is clear indication of their waning popularity in the region.”

Written by Web Master

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