President Nana Akufo-Addo has reacted angrily to ethnocentric comments coming from the National Democratic Congress camp.
An article from the Bolgatanga Central MP, Isaac Adongo, describes elements from the New Patriotic Party as “Akyem Sakawa Boys” in relation to the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal.
This article was shared on the Facebook page of the NDC flagbearer, John Mahama.
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of the Catholic Bishop Conference at the Jubilee House on Friday, President Nana Akufo-Addo said he was “very disturbed” by the remarks.
He condemned what he called ethnic branding, saying “that is the kind of language we don’t want in our politics.”
President Akufo-Addo also said he was disappointed at the lack of criticism towards those remarks from observers.
“Sometimes one would hope that when things come out, people will comment on them. The comment made by my opponent; Akyem Sakawa people, I have not heard any public figure in this country or anybody comment on it.”
“If I was to get up to make a comment about northerners or Gonjas, you can imagine the uproar that will be in the country,” the President lamented.
He also noted that the government had become a punching bag on matters of free speech.
“If you criticize the government, no matter what you say, it is legitimate. If the government is to respond, that is somehow illegitimate.”
President Akufo-Addo thus stressed the need for a zero-tolerance approach to comments deemed unsavoury.
“If the President opens his mouth and says something that is unacceptable, he should be reprimanded. In the same way, opposition politicians, if they conduct themselves by their utterances in an unacceptable manner, they should be brought to book.”