Ghana: War of words on State of the Nation address highlighted in Ghana

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – A war of words following the 25 February State of the Nation address by President John Dramani Mahama and the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Ghana were some of the stories highlighted by the Ghanaian media this week.

The main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), triggered the war of words when its presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, held a forum dubbed, “The Real State of the Nation – A Nation in Crisis” in which he rubbished President Mahama’s address in Parliament.

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) fired back at the NPP while President Mahama himself took to Facebook to ask Nana Akufo-Addo not to undervalue his achievements.

“Our nation in crisis – Akufo-Addo,” was the headline of the state-owned Graphic on Nana Akufo-Addo’s statement in which he described President Mahama’s State of the Nation address as a “theatrical show” that bore very little resemblance to the reality facing Ghana.

The Graphic quoted him as saying Ghana was “a nation in crisis… (and) it appears we have a President who is out of touch with the country he is governing”.

Nana Akufo-Addo said: “I watched on television in the hope that he would capture the mood and the difficulties that face our people daily. I waited to hear him admit that we are in a crisis and I willed him on to offer a glimmer of hope and ask all of us Ghanaians to help resolve the crisis in which we find ourselves. I wanted him to admit that ours was, indeed, a nation in crisis. Unfortunately, millions of Ghanaians, including my humble self, waited in vain.”

Nana Akufo-Addo said what happened in Parliament “was a sad spectacle of propaganda, one that did a disservice to the image of our Parliament".

The Graphic said the opposition leader's address, which touched on the economy, education, health, infrastructure development, the Electoral Commission, among others, also provided a framework by which the NPP would work should it be voted into power come 7 November this year.

The state-owned Ghanaian Times, which also had the headline, “Ghana is in crisis” quoted the flag bearer of the NPP as describing Ghana as “a nation in crisis”.

Nana Akufo-Addo said the President’s address showed that he had lost touch with the realities on the ground.

President Mahama presented more than a dozen people whose lives, he said, had been transformed by the government’s policies.

But Nana Akufo-Addo said the president “chose to tell us a tale about two Ghanas. There is a Ghana inhabited by the family, friends and a small select group. Then there is a real Ghana inhabited by the remaining 27 million of us.”

The Graphic, in a story under the headline, “Don’t under value my achievements – Mahama tells Akufo-Addo” reported that President Mahama said while it was Nana Akufo-Addo’s democratic right to criticise government policies, it was wrong for him to minimize the achievements of the government in the last three years.

“The most important fact about the transformative stories I shared last week, the most fundamental truth about them is that they are not my achievements, they are our achievements! They are Ghana’s achievements!” the President wrote in a Facebook post.

“...it would be wrong to try to minimize our achievements and the depth of Ghana’s transformation in the last three years. For me, as President, these last three years are a story of hope– a hope shared by so many of us. This is because what we have been able to achieve so far is for all of us, and it was made possible only through the continuous participation of all of us.”

The Graphic, in another story under the headline, "Attempts to criminalise govt projects by NPP fail – NDC” said the ruling NDC had stressed that attempts by the NPP to bastardise and criminalise government projects in order to erode public confidence in the party had failed.

“These attempts have failed and will continue to fail,’’ the General Secretary of NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, stated at a press conference Tuesday in reaction Nana Akufo-Addo’s statement at a forum dubbed "The ’Real State of the Nation - A Nation in Crisis.”

Mr Asiedu Nketia said that despite the contrived cynicism and instigation of the public against government projects in order to score political points, President Mahama would continue to deliver and change lives of Ghanaians.

The General Secretary of NDC said if the NPP was disputing the performance of the NDC, the fact still remained that the country was enjoying a peaceful, stable and strong democratic dispensation which the party had been able to sustain.

Mr Asiedu Nketia accused Nana Akufo-Addo of not being able to maintain peace in his party saying he would go down in history as the NPP flag bearer under whose tenure the party sank to its lowest ebb.

The NDC General Secretary said that a corruption index report by Transparency International, scored government high marks for fighting corruption.

He said President Mahama had proved that he was a responsible leader by taking the blame for the energy crisis and economic hardship and was solving them.

“Ghana, Turkey sign 4 agreements” was the headline of the Graphic on the visit of the Turkish president with the story saying Ghana and Turkey boosted their bilateral relations with the signing of four agreements and MOUs on Tuesday.

The agreements were bilateral cooperation in the promotion and protection of investments and cooperation in communication while the MOUs covered sports and energy.

It followed talks between President Mahama and Turkish President Erdoğan, at the Flagstaff House in Accra.

At a joint news conference after bilateral talks, President Mahama said the visit of President Erdoğan marked another chapter in the relations between the two countries.
-0- PANA MA 5March2016

05 march 2016 06:35:48




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