The Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council has explained that President John Dramani Mahama did not say Ashantis were unappreciative of efforts made by his Government to bring development to the region.
The President, who was addressing party supporters at the Regional Coordinating Council in Kumasi, suggested that even if his government constructed roads made of gold in Kumasi, it would not be appreciated.
Making his point he stated, “The Akans have a saying that, the hen never pleases the hawk no matter how well it 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 you in Kumasi, even if we construct roads tarred with gold, they will tell us that we did nothing”.
The comments have gone viral on numerous news portals, social media and television and radio discussions with several people reading an array of meanings into the president’s public speech in Kumasi.
But the presidency says the president’s statement meant no harm to any specific group of people especially because he did not mention or say Ashantis as has been reported in sections of the media.
Explaining what the President said, the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council which hosted the President in the region for the three-day tour contended that the President has been misrepresented by sections of the media.
Speaking on Kumasi based Ultimate Radio, the Public Relations Officer for the RCC in the Ashanti Region, Clement Kigeri, pointed out that by his scrutiny of the tapes, the president never made references to Ashantis as a people.
He indicated that the President only borrowed an Ashanti proverb to make a “very fair and frank analogy about how his political opponents could be blatantly ungrateful for any achievement of his government since the President was addressing party supporters.”
“When I read the story I became disturbed because the story is not the true reflection of what the president said. People who were present will bear witness to the fact that he never mentioned anywhere in his statement that Asantefo (Ashantis). He used a proverb to support whatever he said”.
“In the course of the statement he said, we have done this and that in Kumasi but for certain people, apparently referring to his political opponents, even if you use gold to decorate this city, those political opponents will not appreciate it. And I think that the President was very frank and fair to the facts,” he stated.
Emphasizing that the President has no axe to grind with people of the Ashanti Region, he stated that the President is rather in contest with opposition political parties and not with tribes and it will be inappropriate for anyone to read such meanings as the president describing Ashantis as unappreciative.
“If there is a contest you don’t expect your political opponents to appreciate whatever you do. If they appreciate, then it presupposes that there is no need for you to be changed. So for your political opponents to always criticize you its normal; and for them to blatantly refuse to appreciate the good works you have done is permissible within every political circle”.
“So if he says that his political opponents will not appreciate his efforts even if he decorates this city with Gold, it is farfetched for anybody to say he is referring to Ashantis. He is never referring to Ashantis. Ashanti is a tribe. He is contesting with various political parties and not any tribe in Ghana. And the President as a communicator will never say such thing” he emphasized.
Despite this response from the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council, other Government communicators precisely at the Information Ministry are giving varied interpretations and responses, with some accusing sections of the media of doctoring the tape.