The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has disagreed with comments by the Paramount Chief of the Asogli State in the Volta Region, Togbe Afede XIV that Ghanaians are suffering under President John Mahama.According to a Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Koku Anyidoho, Togbe Afede is entitled to his opinion.
Speaking at a ceremony when the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, called on him at his Ho Palace over the weekend, the Agbogbomefia of Asogli said: “As leaders, our energies should be directed at wealth creation.”
He added: “I haven’t said poverty reduction; that’s negative and uninspiring,” a rejoinder signed by the Secretary to the Asogli State Council said.
Clarifying reports by the media attributed to the President of Volta Regional House of Chiefs as having said that “We’re not happy”, the council quoted what it referred to as “relevant” portions of the chief’s address to a gathering when the flag bearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, paid a courtesy call on him at the Asogli palace last week during his five-day campaign tour of the Volta Region.
“We should create wealth so that we can pull our people out of poverty, so that they can be happy, value their lives, and live unity and peace, which are necessary conditions for continuing stability and development,” Togbe Afede, a successful businessman said.
“I believe we can do it. Yes, we can! But turning our fortunes around would require that we do things differently. More of the same approach will not produce different results.”
“We can do it if we develop a bold, compelling vision, based on our strengths. Mediocrity and snail-paced development will keep us backward…”
“I want to present the reality of the black man’s world, from Haiti to the Horn of Africa.”
“I also want to express my respect for the constitutional requirement that chiefs should not engage in partisan politics. But that does not preclude chiefs from commenting on issues that affect them and their subjects. Politicians come and go, but the chief remains and is the first [port] of call when their subjects suffer poverty and deprivation. Development is important …” “Happiness is the essence, and it is important for unity, peace, stability and for continuing development. So without guaranteeing the freedom to pursue happiness, no nation can develop to its full potential.”
“This is why the pursuit of happiness is recognised under the American constitution as an inalienable right given to all human beings by the Creator, and which governments are formed to protect. This is also why the United Arab Emirates has established a Ministry of Happiness and appointed a Minister of Happiness.”
“Poor people can’t be happy. People who lack jobs and basic amenities cannot be happy. The increase in suicide rate among 20-40 year-olds evidences the fact that a lot of our people are not happy. The fact that our people prefer xenophobic isolation abroad, and are dying trying to cross the desert and the sea in search for greener pastures, shows that they are not happy at home,” he added.
But reacting to these comments in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Monday, 31 October, Mr Anyidoho said: “He [Togbe Afede] is entitled to his opinion. We are not going to cast aspersions at him, we will not fight him. But I can say that the Volta Region is solidly behind the NDC following the good works done by the president in the region and the country at large.” “He is solely entitled to his opinion but we disagree with him.”