Sack Ayisi-Boateng - Kwaku Baako to Akufo-Addo
It is a tough call, but President Nana Akufo-Addo must sack George Ayisi-Boateng, says Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako.
Kwaku Baako says it would be better if Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa exited voluntarily after making a public statement that has been condemned as divisive and undiplomatic, but since he has failed to do so, the President must act to save the face of Ghana’s diplomatic missions.
“If I had my way and if I was the adviser to the President I would say that they should ask him [Ayisi-Boateng] to step aside. It is better,” he said on Joy FM/MultiTV news analysis programme, Newsfile Saturday.
Ghana’s Ambassador to South Africa came under fire when he said at a public forum that he would put the interests of members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), ahead of other Ghanaians in the discharge of his duties.
After defending the comment and claiming he was taken out of context, the public bashing, chiefly on social media, intensified, causing him to apologise and retract the comments.
But still, a section of the public believes he must be relieved of his post. The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) does not consider the apology to be genuine, arguing that Mr Ayisi-Boateng could really discriminate against Ghanaians in South Africa who come to his office on the basis of their party affiliations if he is made to stay in office.
Kwaku Baako also believes Mr Ayisi-Boateng must go because his gaffe is unpardonable.
“None of us is perfect, so it is expected that occasionally we will slip here and there. All of us sitting here we have slipped some occasions.
"We have apologised, we have retracted and we’ve asked for forgiveness and we expect that people will do so. But High Commissioner to South Africa...he was speaking in a public forum...so I find it so difficult that he spoke [that] language and the content of it.”
The veteran journalist said although Mr Ayisi-Boateng may only be revealing the truth about Ghana’s body politic – where service delivery sometimes depends on personal and political affiliations – his true mindset regarding how he intends to run his office has come out.
“If you are caught, you face the music,” he said.
He adds, “now it is within the prerogative of the President; he’s retracted, he has apologised. There are people who are saying forgive him, others say don’t forgive him.
"Whether he continues to be the High Commissioner to South Africa or not, it is within the jurisdiction of the President. That is the bottom line,” Mr Baako said.