Politics of Thursday, 6 December 2018
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been exposed once again for deliberately peddling falsehood against President Akufo-Addo.
NDC had, through its newly-elected Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, lied that Mr. Akufo-Addo “secretly and unceremoniously sneaked out (of Ghana) to South Africa” to attend a musical concert.
Mr. Gyamfi, an errand boy of Ibrahim Mahama, brother of former President John Mahama, had in a Facebook post, peddled the falsehood apparently to prove to his party folks that he is working, by stating that “it gets even shocking and bizarre to note that the President did not inform Parliament about this trip contrary to the Constitutional imperative to do so whenever the President intends to leave our jurisdiction.”
But Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah addressing the media yesterday in Accra, debunked the claims by the opposition party, disclosing that contrary to the claims by the NDC’s Communicator, the President actually informed Parliament about his trip to South Africa and it was read to the House by no person than the Second Deputy Speaker, Alban Bagbin who was chairing.
The Minister clarified that President Akufo-Addo did not sneak out of Ghana as has been indicated by the NDC but rather left the country with the full knowledge of Parliament to honour an invitation extended to him by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, to participate in the Global Citizen Festival in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the late South African leader and global icon, Nelson Mandela.
According to the Minister, a letter dated November 30, 2018 and written by the Presidency was addressed to the Speaker of Parliament to inform lawmakers about the President’s trip to South Africa and the said letter was copied to the Vice President, and the Chief of Staff.
A copy of the letter titled: ‘Absence From Ghana’ which is available to DAILY GUIDE, read “in accordance with Article 59 of the Constitution, I write to inform you that I will be travelling outside the country in the morning of Saturday, December, 2018, to Johannesburg, South Africa, to honour an invitation extended to me by His Excellency Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, to participate in the 2018 Global Citizen Festival, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa, global statesman and icon, to be held on 2nd December, 2018.”
The letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye continued: “I will return to Ghana on 3rd December, 2018. During my absence, the Vice President, Alhaji D. Mahamudu Bawumia, shall, in accordance with Article 60 (8) of the Constitution, act in my stead.
The letter was signed by the President himself and the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and an NDC Member of Parliament for Nadowli Kaleo in the Upper West Region, announced to Parliamentarians upon the Speaker’s receipt of the letter that the President was travelling to South Africa.
Mr. Bagbin had told the MPs before one of the proceedings in parliament that “Honourable members, before we proceed, I have in my hand, a communication from the President and it’s in the form of a letter to Parliament through the Speaker. It’s dated the 30th of November 2018.”
The NDC, it seems, has recently lifted its game in telling deliberate lies against the New Patriotic Party and the President Akufo-Addo’s government.
It first started with the Minority in Parliament accusing President Akufo-Addo of planning to increase his staff strength at the Jubilee House from 998 to 1614.
It took the Information Minister again to publicly expose the Minority’s total falsehood over the number of presidential staffers.
A few days later, the NDC’s General Secretly, Johnson Asiedu Nketia followed the same path of telling diabolical lies about the NPP, when he mischievously stated that NPP charged presidential aspirants GH¢ 500,000 in 2015.
That claim turned out to be a complete fabrication as a document made available to the media by the Deputy Communication Officer of the NPP, Richard Asante, clearly showed that the NPP charged GH¢ 85,000 and not GH¢ 500,000 as the NDC would want Ghanaians to believe.
Global Citizen Festival
And again, it has come out clear that President Akufo-Addo did not just go to South Africa for a concert but to honour the memory of the late Mandela just as several other world leaders had done during the festival.
DAILY GUIDE is informed that over 75 000 Global Citizens attended the festival and millions watched and listened live in over 180 countries through premier broadcast partners SABC, Multichoice, Viacom’s MTV, MSNBC, iHeartMedia and Canal+, with world political and business leaders as well as leading entertainers pledging $7.2 billion support for the country.
There were, reportedly, commitments from the World Bank, Vodacom, PEPFAR, Cisco, the government of South Africa and not to mention co-hosts of Mandela 100, the Motsepe Foundation. These donations alone add-up to $5.4bn aside the projected new commitments.
The President of South Africa, and former anti-apartheid leader alongside Nelson Mandela, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, addressed the huge crowd gathered at the FNB Stadium and viewers around the world with a message of Global Citizenship, pledging R2m for South African youth.
Mr. Ramaphosa announced the South African Government’s intention to spend R6bn to provide free access to school for poor children in South Africa. The importance of the festival could be attested to the number of world leaders that participated either directly or via video message contrary to the claims by the NDC that it was just a concert.
The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, for instance, addressed thousands of Global Citizens via video message and pledged to hold on to the call upon his administration to maintain Kenya’s education budget to 30 percent of its total budget.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel did same by addressing thousands of Global Citizens via a video message on Twitter, with commitment to doubling Germany’s contribution to the Global Partnership for Education and the Education Cannot Wait Fund to a total of €68m.