General News of Tuesday, 13 May 2014
The Executive Director of policy think tank Imani Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, says he is disappointed in the newly elected executives of the New Patriotic Party after their first major decision was to boycott the National Economic Forum being held at Akosombo.
In their first major policy move since being elected last month, the Paul Afoko-led NPP executives declined an invitation to attend the four day forum, describing it as a ‘PR gimmick’ to get the party to endorse already approved decisions taken in conjunction with the IMF which would have a negative impact on the ordinary Ghanaian worker.
The executives also accused the NDC government, organizers of the forum, of persistently rubbishing any advice proffered by an NPP member and in some cases, also attacking the person and family of such persons, especially Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who was described by deputy Information Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu as ‘a disgrace to his parents who have educated him to this level.’
At a press conference to announce their decision, the NPP also wondered why it took government officials more than a week to send the invitation letter, which they claim arrived at the party office on Friday May 9 for a conference set to begin on Tuesday May 13, 2014, when the letter was signed on May 2 by the Secretary to the President.
Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on Tuesday May 13, 2014, however, Mr. Cudjoe, who had earlier indicated on social media that he ‘was called three times from the Office of the President to confirm receipt’ of his invitation and his willingness to attend, said the NPP should have ignored the insults hurled at them and attended the forum.
Talking to Show host Captain Smart from the plush Royal Senkyi hotel at Akosombo, venue of the Forum, Mr. Cudjoe insisted Ghana’s largest opposition party should rather have used the occasion of the forum to drum home its policy alternatives, instead of staying away.
‘I feel they should reconsider. I don’t know if the new leadership are doing that to show that they are macho, but I don’t think that is the right way to go. I think there should have been a much sober reflection. (For) the new executives, this is not the first course of action to take. I’m quite disappointed.
Responding to the allegation of insults, Franklin Cudjoe opined:
‘As for insults, some members of this government have insulted everybody. Even pastors have been called false prophets. Especially the babies with sharp teeth, they have insulted everybody.
‘I must say I’m disappointed in the decision of the NPP not to attend. After all who hasn’t been insulted before? Some of us have been insulted left right centre, accused of being in bed with the opposition, of being a one bedroom think tank, but life still goes on. I think (NPP) they should have taken this in their stride and attended.
‘When you come, you say ‘massa, you people have insulted us too much. Do you accept that? Then you table your ideas and we move on.
‘(But) I understand the frustration of the NPP because most of these things (to be discussed at the forum) have been said already.’