General News of Thursday, 22 November 2012
A leading member of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata has taken on the NPP flagbearer over his comments at the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA-organized presidential debate Wednesday, describing his presentation on Ivory Coast as potentially dangerous for Ghana.
Nana Akufo-Addo criticized the NDC administration for not doing enough to foster good cooperation with Ghana's neighbours, citing a UN report which indicted Ghana as having allowed its territory to be used by insurgents to plan to subvert a constitutionally elected government in Ivory Coast.
If elected President, Nana Akufo-Addo promised to end the “dzi wo fie asem” (mind your own business) foreign policy introduced by the NDC which he claimed had dented Ghana’s image internationally, to the extent that other countries were suspecting Ghana of harbouring dissidents seeking to destabilise neighbouring countries.
But President Mahama swiftly countered the claim by his main opponent, emphasizing that his government would not allow its territories to be used to foment trouble in any country.
Speaking Thursday on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata described Akufo-Addo’s presentation on Ivory Coast as “unfortunate, tending to create tension between states”.
“When in relation to Ivory Coast he (Nana Addo) tried to raise issues which really were sort of tending to create tension and so on, between states, and it seems to me unfortunate especially, when there are issues of national security involved.
“You undermine your national sovereignty when you begin - at the kind of a forum - attacking" your opponent on a matter involving the security of Ghana’s neigbours, Mr. Tsikata noted.
He however said President Mahama demonstrated maturity by responding to the issue in a manner that saved the country on the night.
He said he was impressed with President Mahama’s commanding presence and the fact that he demonstrated he is a mature and effective leader.
In a related development, Economic Development and Policy Analyst Dr. Theophilus Richardson was unhappy with the conduct of PNC flagbearer Hassan Ayariga whom he accused of attempting to turn the stage "into a joke".
Dr. Richardson suggested to the IEA to empower the moderators next time, to cut-in and bring candidates back on track when they deviate.
According to him, the Accra event which was the third and final debate ahead of the December polls, failed to live up to the hype, suggesting the demise of former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama may have been a factor.