The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho has challenged NPP leader, Nana Akufo Addo to state publicly whether he would commit troops to Cote d’Ivoire if he were the President today.
Speaking on Joy FM, Mr Anyidoho defended President Mills’ decision not to send troops to Cote d’Ivoire and questioned whether Nana Akufo Addo would have done the contrary had he been given the mandate as President in 2008. Mr Anyidoho stated that the reason for President Mills’ decision stemmed from consultations with leading figures of the Ghana Armed Forces who have stated that the army is overstretched.
He said Ghana’s army had committed troops in peacekeeping missions around the world, including 500 soldiers in the UN peacekeeping mission in Cote d’Ivoire.
“A lot of the criticism is coming from the NPP. I want to ask Nana Akufo Addo…given that you were Commander-in-Chief of Ghana’s armed forces, today 10th of January 2011, 8:18 am by this clock at the Joy FM studio; Mr Akuffo Addo would you as Commander-in-Chief commit Ghanaian troops to a war in Cote d’Ivoire?” he queried.
Continuing his submission, he said the current situation made it impossible to raise the thousands of troops needed in the event of a war in Cote d’Ivoire.
Reacting to the petroleum price increase, Mr Anyidoho said although it was a “painful decision”, it was in the best interest of the nation and called on the public to embrace the fact that Ghana had to assume her responsibilities in developing the nation.
Mr Anyidoho admitted that there would be initial challenges after the crude price increase but insisted that the benefits would eventually override the problems.
“This decision [petroleum price increase] is being taken in the larger interest. Yes there will be some initial hiccups, there will be some initial hard feeling…if we look at things from a larger perspective, we’ll come to realise that it is a decision that will inure to our benefits,” he said.
He also spoke of the NDC’s position on taxation, insisting that his party is not against taxation as is being challenged by critics.
“Being a social-democratic government does not mean that you don’t tax. Indeed as the President said, if you go to the Nordic region, Norway, Finland, [and] Denmark, they have about the highest tax regimes in the world, but those are supposed to be social-democratic countries,” he indicated.
He added that Ghana cannot continue to depend on foreign assistance in her development and it was high time that Ghanaians understand that “our destiny is in our own hands” if Ghana is to develop.
Speaking on President Mills’ support for the celebration of the December 31 coup d’etat, Mr Anyidoho lauded the president for his statement, insisting that the coup d’état marked an important milestone in the calendar of the NDC.
He said it was regrettable that lives were lost during the period but added the situation would not prevent them from celebrating since according to him, other occasions such as the February 28 shootings of ex-military men and the fight for independence witnessed deaths of some people and yet are celebrated.