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General News of Sunday, 12 February 2017


Akufo-Addo "needs me" to succeed – Nunoo-Mensah

Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mnesah, former Chief of Defence Staff play videoBrigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mnesah, former Chief of Defence Staff

President Nana Akufo-Addo "needs people like me" to help him succeed in building Ghana, former Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mnesah, has said.

The former campaign manager of Nana Akufo-Addo said on Sunday, 12 February that he wishes he could freely approach Ministers in the new Akufo-Addo government to sell his ideas about how to develop Ghana, in line with the president's urge to Ghanaians to be "citizens and not spectators", but the "gates" of officialdom are shut to people like him, who do not belong the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), thus, stifling his patriotic efforts.

"I can do it …", he told TV3's Hot Issues programme, by putting "young people who are roaming the streets to work." "It can be done, but we haven't got the willpower to do it," the former National Security Advisor to late President John Mills complained.

"I want to approach many ministers today, I've got ideas about agriculture, ideas about security, ideas about many issues, but to get the minister to talk to you, it's difficult," he observed.

Asked why gaining access to the presidency should be a problem for him considering that he could easily have access to the president, who he has described on many occasions as a "friend", Mr Nunoo-Mensah said: "If I went to him [President Nana Akufo-Addo], they [the people around the president] will say I'm coming to him to ask for a job. I'm not coming to ask for a job, at this age I don't need any more jobs."

"I have no problem with Akufo-Addo, I've been with NPP and I know the hardliners there, what they didn't want – they think that when you go near the areas of power, you are going to ask for a favour, I've never asked for a favour in my entire life … I don't ask for favours … I don't need favours from anybody."

He said despite the president's call on citizens to participate in developing the country, "it's not easy trying to get in touch with them [ministers], they won't pick your call, I'm telling you. You see, this is horrifying," he noted.

Citing an example to buttress his point, Brig Gen Nunoo-Mensah said: "I wouldn't want to be here and say things about people that will not be palatable, [but] I called one individual, I said: 'I want to see you.' He said: 'I'm going into a meeting, call me at 4 O'clock.' I never called him again! You [the individual] are half my age, why should I call you?" he wondered to the host, saying: "… So this is the attitude, which is sad. … I want to be able to talk to them, but I can't get the chance. The president says we should be participants, if you don't open the gate how can I get in there and participate?"

"[So the president should open his gate] so that we go there and talk to them. We can build Ghana. Tell him that I say I can build Ghana. He knows me very well. … I was his campaign manager and what a wonderful time [that was]. He needs people like me – I'm not boasting…" the 80-year-old former military officer said.

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