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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Can Akufo-Addo respond to Otumfuo or Okyehene that way? Sam George on Torgbui Fiti saga

President Akufo-Addo and Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George

• Ningo Prampram MP has hit at Akufo-Addo over recent comments directed at the Aflao Paramount Chief

• The comments are related to abandoned school blocks in Aflao

• Sam George says the president was disrespectful and must apologize

Ningo Prampram Member of Parliament, Sam Nartey George, has added his voice to the condemnation of comments made by the president in response to a Paramount Chief in the Volta Region, Torgbui Adzongaga Amenya Fiti V.

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The chief told a group of Minority MPs that he wanted an abandoned Senior High School block in his area completed and opened for use by February 2020.

But President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in an interview earlier this week on Accra-based Peace FM’s Kokrokoo show suggested that instead of giving his appointee (Minister of Education) an ultimatum, the chief should consider finishing the structure himself if he is so minded.

Sam George whiles speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme which aired on Friday, October 22, 2021, said the president had chosen to disrespect a paramount chief and it was clear because he would not react same to some traditional leaders in other parts of the country.

He referenced specifically, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Okyehene Nana Amoatia Ofori Panyin, as two traditional leaders that the president would have been measured in responding to, irrespective of whatever critical comment they made about him or his government.

“It is President Akufo-Addo today who is literally insulting chiefs. He doesn’t respect Torgbui Fiti. Would he do that to Otumfuo or will he do that to the Okyehene? Can he respond to the Okyehene that way?

When his co-panelist, Nana Akomea asked if Otumfuor will speak the way the Aflao chief did, he responded: “Ah. What did Otumfuor say, has Otumfuor not demanded that construction that has stalled in the Ashanti Region be completed?”

Whiles dismissing a further question as to whether the Otumfuo has given government any ultimatum, he continued: “When president Akufo-Addo went to meet the Asantehene, Otumfuo looked him in the face – after the president had spoken of his unprecedented infrastructure drive – Otumfuo basically told him that what his people tell him is not what is on the ground.

“So Otumfuo told the president that he is sleeping on the job, why didn’t he respond to the Otumfuo?” he quizzed.

On the subject of an ultimatum, he stressed that the ultimatum was to the Education Minister and not the president. “Torgbui Fiti did not give the President an ultimatum, he gave an ultimatum to the Minister for Education, not the president. It was the Minister not the President, he spoke to the Minister.

“It is disrespectful of the president, the president showed gross disrespect to the people of Anlo and he owes them an apology,” he concluded.

Nana Akomea, on his part, stressed that the remark was in jest and not directed to spite the Paramount chief in any way.

Akufo-Addo’s response to non-completion of E-block

The president in response to a question by Peace FM’s Kokrokoo show host suggested that instead of giving his appointee an ultimatum, the chief should consider going to finish the structure himself.

Paramount Chief of Aflao, Torgbui Adzongaga Amenya Fiti V recently demanded that a contractor who had abandoned work on a school block in his area return to complete the project within four months.

He said this whilst speaking when Minority MPs on Parliament’s Education Committee paid a courtesy call on him.

According to the paramount chief, work on the Senior High School building which commenced under the E-block initiative had been abandoned over time. He thus called on the Minister of Education, Yaw Osei Adutwum to ensure that the project is completed within the period he specified.

But speaking in an interview with Kwame Sefa Kayi on Peace FM on Thursday, October 21, 2021, President Akufo-Addo questioned why the paramount chief would issue an ultimatum to his minister about the completion of a project.

”Is he the one going to give the Minister of Education ultimatum?”, he questioned.

Prompted by the host that the chief’s request may be borne out of frustration, President Akufo-Addo replied that the traditional leader should “go ahead and complete the project himself” if he feels frustrated about the current situation.

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