Today can report that the woes of embattled Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, George Ayisi-Boateng, are not over as pressure is still being mounted on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sack him, despite the former’s apology for his divisive comment.
Mr. Ayisi-Boateng came under fire last week 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 his comment and claiming he was taken out of context, the public bashing, chiefly on social media, intensified, compelling him to apologise and retract those comments.
But still a section of the public, particularly the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), insists President Akufo-Addo must relieve him of his post so as to avoid any international embarrassment.
According to the NDC, the apology was not genuine, stressing 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.
The latest to join the chorus is a known sympathiser of the NPP, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako.
While admitting it was a tough call on the President to sack Mr. Ayisi-Boateng, the veteran journalist urged him to do so for the sake of national cohesion.
According to him, it would have been better if Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa had 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 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, on Saturday, November 4, 2017.
In the opinion of Kweku Baako, Mr Ayisi-Boateng’s gaffe was unpardonable hence his call on the President to show him the exit.
“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 in 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 at a public forum…so I find it so difficult that he spoke [that language and the content of it”,] Kweku Baako said.
The seasoned 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 added, “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,” Kweku Baako intoned.