General News Tue, 31 Oct 2017

There is nothing to apologise for - Ayisi Boateng stands by 'divisive comments'

Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa has laughed off calls for him to apologise to Ghana for comments many have described as unfortunate and divisive.

George Ayisi Boateng said his comments to prioritise the needs of members of the governing party were taken out of context and have been misrepresented by people for their own political end.

Speaking to Kumasi-based Nhyira FM Tuesday, he said comparing his comments to that of former President John Mills who ordered District Chief Executives to give jobs to members of the then governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), it was not any way offensive.

Addressing members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its student wing, the Tertiary Students’ Confederacy Network (TESCON) in Kumasi, Mr Ayisi Boateng said they are his priority in his dealings while at his duty post.

He explained that it is by dint of the hard work party loyalists put in, that saw the party recapture power so it will be the right thing to do.

The Ambassador urged other government appointees to do same.

“This government is doing its best to create job opportunities and me for instance, I told my people over there [that], it is because of NPP that I’m here, so the NPP man is my priority.

“I told them when NDC was in power it was Kwesi Ahwoi who was there, now we are in power, so Ayisi-Boateng is here with you. My topmost priority is the problems of an NPP person before any other Ghanaian, take it or leave it,” he said.

“Indeed I’m not boasting, but I’ve started meeting the NPP groups. Every weekend I meet some group members and I tell you if I had my way, every job opportunity that will come will go to a TESCON member before any other person.

“And I know my colleague appointees also have the same feeling except that because of IMF we cannot do anything now…,” he added.

Although his comments received nationwide condemnation, TESCON has lent their support to Mr Ayisi Boateng.

In a statement issued Tuesday, past TESCON presidents of three institutions said they are proud of the Ambassador, urging him to disregard the public backlash.

“You have been our source of inspiration during our days in opposition and you continue to inspire us. Travelling from South Africa to attend our programs alone tells us to do more since there is hope for the future because we are always remembered by you.

“"Onipa nua" affectionately called has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he has TESCON members at heart and we also pledge to be present any time you call on us, we are going to be present,” they said.

However, Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, said Mr Ayisi Boateng justifying his comments makes him feel sad.

He explained that “because he sought to cite bad occurrences in previous regimes to support what he said. It is something we shouldn’t condone or commend.”

Prof Gyampo said Chapter six of the 1992 Constitution enjoins the state to promote cohesion and prohibit discrimination on all grounds.

According to him, the President promised at his inauguration to be the father of all and not only to NPP members who voted him into office “so these comments run contrary to his vision.”

"This cannot be part of good governance which the NPP is known for," he added.

Source: Myjoyonline.com
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