Ghanaians in Johannesburg and its surrounding areas (GHAJOSA) have come out to condemn Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr. George Ayisi Boateng’s comment on prioritizing some Ghanaians over others and have asked for the President's prompt response on the issue.
This follows a series of comments Mr. Boateng made while addressing members of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) student wing, the Tertiary Students’ Confederacy Network (TESCON) in Kumasi, where he suggested that his focus was to give preferential treatment to members of the ruling party before any other Ghanaian.
“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,” he said.
“My topmost priority is the problems of an NPP person before any other Ghanaian, take it or leave it. “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,” he mentioned.
This idea did not go down well with several Ghanaians including the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who described the comment as “undiplomatic”, while others deem it divisive and have since called for his dismissal.
Others outside the nation, such as GHAJOSA, who feel affected by Mr. George Ayisi Boateng’s comment have also called him out and have described his utterances as “repugnant”, “petty” and “naïve”. They said.
In a statement, the group said in his capacity as a High Commissioner he is expected to be unbiased and treat all members of the Ghanaian community equally as the nation's development is based on the well-being of its people.
The group has asked government to clearly lay out the Commissioners responsibilities as he seems to be deviating from his real duties and said condoning such attitudes will reap chaos amongst Ghanaians in South Africa.
“We implore the President of Ghana, His Excellency President Nana Addo and the Sector minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to clarify what the mandate of the esteemed Honourable Mister is? Hon. George Ayisi Boateng’s comment is purported to create divisiveness and draw a wedge between Ghanaians in South Africa along party lines,” they wrote.
They added that “Since Hon. Ayisi Boateng got to South Africa, we have not heard him make any public pronouncements on the insurgence of xenophobic attacks on most Ghanaians and other African nationals, but he has the nerve to state that he is here to work for NPP supporters and sympathizers.”
The group entreated all Ghanaians to ignore Mr. Boateng's comments and hammered on the need to live in peace and harmony irrespective of political, religious and ethnic attachments.
Mr. Boateng however strongly stands by his words as in an interview at Kumasi-based Nhyira FM Tuesday, Mr. Boateng said, “I said nothing bad. What is wrong with my statement? I have helped many NDC members including E.T. Mensah, I am not divisive, E.T Mensah can attest to it.”