President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo chose the appropriate language for his address to the nation on the military agreement Ghana has signed with the United States of America (USA), Yaw Oppong, a private legal practitioner and lecturer has said.
According to him, all presidents have had occasions to express themselves with strong language when addressing some issues of national importance, hence, it is not surprising the language Nana Akufo-Addo used in his address on Thursday, 5 April 2018.
Mr Akufo-Addo in his address urged Ghanaians to “reject the unspeakable hypocrisy of the naysayers who led our country into bankruptcy in the worst economic record of modern Ghanaian history”, adding: “Let us rise above them.”
Clearing the air about the defence cooperation deal which has been mired in a lot of controversy at home, Mr Akufo-Addo rejected accusations by the main opposition National Democratic Congress and its Minority in parliament that he has sold Ghana’s sovereignty to the US for $20million per the deal.
According to him, the NDC and its Minority are being hypocritical about the whole deal.
“How else would we have exposed the unspeakable hypocrisy of a fraternity of some frontline politicians who make a habit of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds who secretly wallow in the largesse of the United States of America while at the same time promote anti-American sentiment to a populist constituency.
“We have to take issue with the frontline politicians who have sought to mislead the people in this blatant manner and those who for mischievous purposes leaked the document destined for the scrutiny of parliament premature to a section of the media who then went on to describe it as a secret document.
“How could a document, intended for the consideration of parliament be described as a secret document? How could anyone who has been in government and run the administration of this nation feign ignorance of the conditions under which Ghanaian troops undertake peace-keeping operations or the conditions under which our country has collaborated with major international institutions?
It is difficult to understand that such people, knowing what they do know, will go about so blatantly to confuse people and go as far as calling for the overthrow of our democracy. A democracy that has become the beacon of good governance in Africa, a democracy that has survived for a quarter of a century and encompassed even the most irresponsible episodes of governance in a state of unity and stability, a democracy that has provided the framework for systematic development in our social and economic welfare, and assured us of the longest uninterrupted period of stable constitutional governance in our history?
Surely this is the kind of cynical manipulations by reckless self-seekers which at the fullness of time, the people of Ghana will acknowledge and condemn and I’m sure that as the facts become clear and widely available and as the people come to terms with the evidence, they will reject the falsehood and deliberate attempts to destabilise our peaceful country. Truth is sacrosanct."
But after the address, some critics have said Nana Akufo-Addo’s words were not befitting of a president.
Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said he failed to show leadership with his comments.
Mr Nketia said: “He failed to show leadership as far as our security is concerned. He chose to insult his opponents rather than speaking to the issues. He has no answers to the issues we have raised, and, so, he wants to divert attention from the real issues. We are not going to fall for his diversionary tactic and swallow this debate, we will continue to raise those issues.”
But commenting on this development on TV3’s New Day programme on Saturday, 7 April 2018, Mr Oppong said: “I think that in terms of demeanour and posture, it would have been deceitful if the language he chose were strong and yet his entire demeanour was totally different.
“That is not the mark of a good orator because, in it, you will be deceiving the goop people. If your language is strong your body language should express it.”
He added: “I remember Professor Mills when he went to the customs in Tema some years ago, even he didn’t use the word ‘I am outraged’ but he used language you could see that for the first time, he was indeed outraged. So all the presidents have had occasions to express themselves in a way that they had clearly come out as somebody who is either upset or so furious about a matter of national importance so for me, the language and everything else was quite appropriate for the occasion.”