A women’s group calling itself Ladies in Defence of Democracy, has called on the President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, to apologise to the people of the Ashanti Region for the ethnocentric comments he made during his recent visit to the region.
Members of the group, in a press statement released and signed by Gifty Oware Aboagye, Suraiya Manaan and Jennifer Queen – all members of Ladies in Defence of Democracy – said, ‘We urge President Mahama to be magnanimous enough to withdraw his statement and apologise to Asanteman in general.’
They said, ‘President Mahama just proved to the entire nation that he lacks the strength to unite the people of Ghana as a leader, not far from fetch was the violent incidents that mired his visit to Kyebi during the campaign. Unity in every sense of human endeavour borders on the ability to accommodate everybody with regard to their views in life.’
The President, during his tour in the Ashanti Region about two weeks ago, was quoted by radio stations to have said at a rally of National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters that ‘the presidency is working hard, so don’t allow anyone to deceive you into thinking that we are retrogressing. As I speak, there are several projects ongoing. We are constructing roads, providing water and electricity. Since I came, we have inspected ongoing renovation works on the runway of the Kumasi Airport. We are fixing instruments at the Airport to allow for both day and night flights. We have also inspected the GIHOC Shoe Factory where there are new machines for producing footwear for the military here in Kumasi.’
He continued: ‘However, the Akans have a saying that the chicken never pleases the hawk, no matter how well she dances. But that shouldn’t discourage us. We have noted the promise we made to Ghanaians for which we were voted into power. As for Kumasi, even if we construct roads tarred with gold, they will tell us that we did nothing.’
After many criticisms from member of the public over Mr. Mahama’s comment, the Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, in a press statement, denied what has been claimed to be the recorded voice of the President, and instead issued what he described as the ‘true recording’ of the President’s voice at the rally in Kumasi.
But the democratic group insisted that the President must apologise to the people of the Ashanti Region and refrain from making such comments. According to them, such comments have the potency of destroying the peace and unity existing amongst the various ethnic groups in the country.
They urged that other groups found of making such ethnocentric comments must learn from the nasty developments of the Rwandan’s genocide between the nation’s two tribes – Tutsis and Hutus – in which 800,000 innocent Tutsi and Hutu sympathizers were killed.
BY Melvin Tarlue
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