Mahama’s support for Ouattara was a ploy – Ayikoi Otoo explains


A leading member of the opposition NPP, Ayikoi Otoo has asserted that President Mahama’s endorsement of Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara, was a ploy to woo investors to West Africa.

Stability of a country is critical to investors when taking decision, the NPP lawyer noted, adding that Mahama’s apparent support for Ouattara, leader of a country which came out of conflict not long ago, was a strategic move not to scare investors away from the sub-region.

The Ghanaian president who is Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in a chat with investors, leaned towards the re-election of Mr. Ouattara in next year’s presidential election.

“Cote d’Ivoire is fairly more stable and as long as the alliance between the PDC and President Ouattara’s party holds, my expectation is that, that government might win a second term,” President Mahama said on Monday, September 22 in New York.

His comments attracted criticisms from persons who felt he was interfering in the affairs of a sovereign state. His critics said his statement ran counter to the popular ‘mind your own business’ foreign policy refrain of his predecessor Atta Mills in the heat of the Ivorian conflict in March 2011.

However, speaking on Joy FM’s flagship programme, Newsfile on Saturday, the former chairman of New Patriotic Party (NPP) Legal and Constitutional affairs committee, Ayikoi Otoo believes the local media quoted the President “out of context”.

He reiterated that sitting close to Mr. Ouattara, it was prudent for Mahama to make pronouncement that would attract new investors into West Africa.

In any case who is President Mahama to determine who should rule Ivory Coast? he rhetorically asked.

But Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Malik Kweku Baako submitted on the programme that the comments was not in good taste.

He described the statement as an “avoidable indiscretion”.

He wondered how investors would abandon the country if authorities there are able to organise free and fair election. The danger of the President’s endorsement was that if a new leader gets elected, it could put the country in an awkward diplomatic situation.

“He was indiscreet,” Mr. Baako insisted.
On his part, Mr. Kwame Fordjour Mfodwo National Coordinator of the Ghana Maritime Boundary Secretariat said Mr. Mahama’s take was “very useful diplomatic indiscretion”.

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