10 decisions of Akufo-Addo that angered Ghanaians

Wed, 2 Oct 2019 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

It’s been over 2 years since Nana Akufo-Addo's government took over power from the previous Mahama-led administration.

Just like every other government, there were several decisions taken under his leadership that attracted public criticism and wrath.

Some decisions were rescinded after reactions from Ghanaians, others remained regardless.

Ghanaweb takes a look at some of these decisions that angered the citizenry:

110 Ministers

His choice of an elephant-sized government didn’t go too well with Ghanaians. President Akufo-Addo got varied reactions with his decision to kick-start his administration with 110 ministers in March 2017.

Out of the total 110, 20 were Regional Ministers and their Deputies, 40 ministers for various ministries, with 50 deputies.

Before him, his predecessor, John Mahama had been criticized massively for appointing 88 cabinet Ministers.

Following the criticisms, however, the President emerged to defend his decision, noting that he will be vindicated when the public realizes that “the brouhaha is nothing, compared to the success.”

Ghanaians were obviously not enthused about the move by Mr. Akufo-Addo and didn’t hesitate to register their displeasure on social media.

Let's throwback to a few of the tweets:

Akufo-Addo ‘prioritises’ Notre Dame over Accra Floods death

The president of Ghana incurred the wrath of the citizenry in April 2019, over a tweet he shared to commiserate with France.

News broke April 15 about a fire that gutted the Notre Dame Cathedral destroying properties worth millions of dollars and as best international relations practices, the president of Ghana sent out a few heart-warming tweets to commiserate with the people of France but Ghanaians did not have it!

The president’s tweets were welcomed with retweets and replies of Ghanaians showing anger and dissatisfaction. According to their responses, the president is too quick to offer condolences and sympathies to people outside his jurisdiction whiles his own people suffer.

Many of the tweets reminded the president of the recent heavy downpour of rains that killed over five people and destroyed many homes, and the simple question from these Ghanaians was, where is the president’s tweet to commiserate with his own people?

Read the president’s tweet and the replies below: and also photos for screenshots of more tweets:

Building of National Cathedral

There were mixed reactions by some section of Ghanaians in Accra when GhanaWeb decided to know their stance on the establishment of the cathedral.

According to them, the National Cathedral shouldn’t be the top priority of the government as the country is currently facing challenges in the economic sector. They said the government should rather focus on more stressing issues like investing in businesses that would help solve the unemployment rate in the country than to build a cathedral that will be of no use to the nation.

The building was billed to be constructed on the stretch alongside the Osu Cemetery and lands around the Ridge roundabout, the Scholarship Secretariat, the Judicial Training Institute, the Passport Office and the residences of nine judges were proposed to be used. All of these buildings were to be demolished and relocated elsewhere.

Although some agreed with the construction of the building, they claimed the government’s timing was wrong and moreover, the location government intends to build it wasn’t favorable considering traffic congestion in the capital city.

See some of the tweets:

Luxury Tax:

Ghanaians reacted strongly to the government’s Mid-year Budget Review that was presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on the floor of Parliament Thursday, July 19, 2018.

Among other things, Finance Minister while reading the budget announced that government will not increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) contrary to earlier reports, rather, a new tax on luxury vehicles which will be known as Luxury Vehicle Tax will be introduced.

He allayed fears of any increase in either Value Added Tax or National Health Insurance Levy and indicated that the government will intensify tax compliance to increase its revenue base.

Reacting to this, some section of Ghanaians believed the policy by the government is a way of robbing Peter to pay Paul because although he did not increase the VAT as promised, he found a way of retrieving money from Ghanaians by imposing taxes on luxury cars.

They questioned the policy explaining that such cars are already paying huge taxes upon importation, adding that this will be a burden on both car owners and importers.

Let’s see how Ghanaians reacted:

Deportation of Aisha Huang

Chinese Galamsey Queen, Aisha Huang gained some notoriety after her arrest in May 2017 and was tagged as the Galamsey Queen.

She had been charged with three counts of undertaking small-scale mining operations, contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703); providing mining support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), and the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

During the prosecution, the government controversially discontinued the case and deported her in December 2018.

More controversy followed when the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, at a town hall meeting in the US suggested that Aisha Huang did not face the full rigours of the law for diplomatic reasons.

The decision attracted the furor of Ghanaians who didn’t hesitate to pour their hearts out. Subsequently, President Akufo-Addo emerged to say “the decision to deport Aisha Huang in hindsight was a mistake and that is why that process and procedure is being stopped”.

Let’s see some of the tweets:

PDS takes over ECG

Ghanaians on social media aired their frustration over power outages after the sale of the Electricity Company of Ghana, blaming government for taking away their problems with ECG and giving them a worse option, Power Distribution Services Ghana (PDS).

Most parts of Accra, Madina, Koforidua and Cape Coast have been experiencing intermittent power supply in March 2019.

This sparked concerns of a possible return to days of rationed power supply, popularly referred to as “dumsor”.

Meanwhile, Government suspended PDS’ management of electricity alleging that the private company hatched a plan to deceive the state.

Government explained that documents presented by PDS as a guarantee for the takeover of the state-owned power retailing and distribution company were forged.

An independent forensic probe into allegations fraud however revealed there is no evidence to suggest any of the entities involved in the deal conspired to defraud the state.

Most Ghanaians took to social media to speak their minds.

Here are some of the reactions

New Parliamentary Chamber

Ghanaians launched a #DropThatChamber hashtag on Twitter when members of the Parliamentary Service Board received a model for a proposed new 450-seater Parliament chamber.

They described the chamber as "needless, unnecessary and stupid". The 450-seater chamber was proposed to come with a chapel, mosque, restaurant, and a museum.

Some Ghanaians opposed the construction Parliament's decision to construct a new chamber before the end of 2019, raising issues like students under trees and road projects which have been abandoned, and questioning the rationale behind government’s decision.

After vehement opposition from the public and some groups, President Akufo-Addo rejected the move, with a reason that the timing may not have been appropriate.

Here are a few of the tweets on that front:

Founders’ Holiday

The President on 16th April 2019, assented to the Public Holidays (Amendment) Act 2019 which clearly states Statutory Public Holidays and Commemorative days.

In view of this, July 1, which was formerly a Republic Holiday was scrapped by the Akufo-Addo-led administration and is now observed as a commemorative day. This decision incurred the displeasure of scores of Ghanaians. 7th January was set aside by the Akufo-Addo administration to recognize the coming into force of the 1992 constitution and the beginning of the 4th Republic.

Some Ghanaians lamented that, this particular holiday is rather needless because it comes right after both the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Prior to that, government presented a bill before parliament to amend the Public Holidays Act to include January 7, August 4 and September 21 as statutory public holidays.

The decision raised a lot of controversy, with many Ghanaians displeased.

Government rejection of Emile Short Commission recommendations

Some social media users September this year expressed displeasure about government’s decision to reject some findings by the Emile Short Commission on the Ayawaso West Wuogon elections.

They were of the conviction that government’s move was a complete mistake which may, in the long run, affect their very own people and unfortunately, the same rules will have to apply then.

The Commission established on February 8, 2019, by President Akufo-Addo and chaired by Justice Emile Short, made a full enquiry into the circumstances and events that led to some violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon elections held on January 31, 2019. Results of the findings were submitted to the government after which a White Paper was issued.

Government, in its White Paper, declined the commission's proposal to prosecute the National Security operative, Mohammed Sulemana, who slapped the Member of Parliament during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election. Following the news, some social media as usual, took to twitter as well as other platforms to tell President Akufo-Addo and his team “their mind”. Here’s a compilation of some tweets:

Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Some Ghanaians have labelled as ‘madness’ the introduction of ‘Comprehensive Sexuality Education’ into the new curriculum to be implemented by the Ghana Education Service in basic schools next year.

From 2020, lower primary school pupils will be exposed to a new curriculum that will introduce them to values of societal norms and how to interact with the opposite sex.

As they graduate to the upper primary, they will then study other modules of sexuality which include relationship, friendship, dating, and courtship.

Some social media users have voiced their opposition to the new subject with one person tagging it as absurd for the underdeveloped minds of pupils, especially 5-year-olds.

Here’s a compilation of the tweets:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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