General News of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says attacks against his government by the Assin Central Member of Parliament (MP), Kennedy Agyapong, do not bother him.
According to him, having been in the same political party with the maverick politician, he was aware of his nature, and therefore, has become used to his outbursts.
“Regarding Kennedy Agyapong’s comments, I am not surprised at where he is going. I have been in the same party with Ken for many years, and so, I understand him, and we know ourselves very well.
“His comments do not irritate me, we can have different views on different matters and that is fine, but the statement on the appointments from the Central Region, I will not accept because I don’t believe it is true,” he said this during his encounter with some selected journalists in the country yesterday at the Flagstaff House, the seat of government.
The President’s encounter with the media was to avail himself and account for his stewardship for the six months that he has been in office.
Mr. Agyapong has, among other things, accused the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of sidelining him and other key people who sponsored the party during the 2016 electioneering campaign.
In his latest tirade, the politician-cum-businessman accused the President of appointing fewer people from the Central Region in his administration.
“Ask these MPs seated here, their names were collected with the promise to appoint them to boards of state institutions, they are here, asked any of them if they have had any such positions. The MPs have been neglected, if you’re not a minister then forget it, that is NPP for you. So, party supporters must go easy on demands from MPs as they don’t hold any position. It is not easy for MPs at all. But if we’re able to speak such truths for our mistakes to be corrected, then it will be easy for us to win 2020, but when we remain quiet then we’re doomed,” the vociferous MP was reported to have said.
On the issue of victimisation, the President noted that even though he has been “one of the greatest victims of irresponsible sections of the media, I refer to those who have created an industry from spewing calumnies, falsehoods and outright fabrications against my person, I do not regret…my role in the repeal of the old discredited law.”
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as Attorney-General under the John Kufuor government spearheaded the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law under which some journalists were arrested and detained by government.
According to him, “the repeal has inspired the Ghanaian media to be one of the freest and most vibrant on the entire continent of African if not the world.”
The President said he prefers the “noisy, boisterous, sometimes scurrilous media of today to the monotonous, praise-singing, sycophantic one of yesteryear.”
He believed the media has enriched Ghana’s democratic credentials through their investigations and curiosity.
Since his inauguration on January 7, 2017, President Akufo-Addo said he hadn’t had any encounter with the media and thought it proper to meet with them as part of his determination to hold himself accountable to the Ghanaian people.
Without mentioning names, he said: “I cannot complain about the lack of exposure of my thoughts, statements, or policies since I became President.”
His predecessor, President John Dramani Mahama, complained bitterly about the media not highlighting his government’s achievements.
Former President Dramani Mahama believed that large sections of the media repeatedly harped on corruption to the detriment of his infrastructure projects and policy achievements.
But President Akufo-Addo said he has no complaints at all. He commended the presidential press corps highly “whose duty it is to cover the presidency; they should know that their work is appreciated.”