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Politics of Saturday, 21 August 2021


Akufo-Addo’s reaction to dissenting views unbefitting of a president – Yao Graham

Yao Graham, Executive Director of the Third World Network Yao Graham, Executive Director of the Third World Network

Executive Director of the Third World Network (TWN), Dr Yao Graham has said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has a thin skin when it comes to accepting dissenting views or opinions on his administration’s handling of corruption-related issues and the way he also conducts himself sometimes.

He said the president’s posture and reaction towards some comments made against him show that he is intolerant.

He referred to the response the president gave to the Executive Director of Afrobarometer, Professor Gyima Boadi, when he made a statement on the president’s anti-corruption credentials over the Daniel Yao Domelevo matter.

President Akufo-Addo had ordered the former Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo, to proceed on mandatory retirement last year.

Prof Boadi in commenting on this said the order by the president was a huge dent on the president’s anti-corruption credibility which he described as being in tatters.

“As for the President’s credibility in terms of anti-corruption, I am afraid to say it is in tatters. It has been in tatters for a while but this puts a nail in the coffin. I see Domelevo as a victim of well-orchestrated actions by individuals who are government officials and by state institutions,” Prof. Gyimah-Boadi said in a radio interview.

He added “Mr. Domelevo was exercising proper constitutional and legal oversight and officials and institutions that Mr. Domelevo has sought to hold to account. The man was doing his best to protect the public purse to claim surcharges for improperly spent public funds. One who is trying to fight corruption is one who is being persecuted and hounded out of office.”

However, a livid Mr Akufo-Addo stated that “It is, thus, very disappointing to hear a very senior and otherwise distinguished member of civil society make such loose and thoughtless statement like the President’s credibility on anti-corruption is in ‘tatters’ and ‘has been in tatters for a while,’ and that the compulsory retirement of Mr Domelevo puts a nail in the coffin of the President’s credibility.”

According to the Presidency, "such statements are not based on facts and driven likely by emotions. The fact is that the President’s credibility on anti-corruption is unmatched and no amount of misconceived opinions can change that.”

Mr Akufo-Addo in a meeting with members of the anti-corruption coalition on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 told the group that he has not deviated from his commitment to developing state anti-corruption institutions by ensuring that their budgetary allocation goes to them timely.

“In my commitment to developing state agencies to act in the interest of whom they serve, I have not deviated from that. But there is something we cannot overlook, the highly political atmosphere in which some of these allegations are raised, in which some of the CSOs are privy to and complicit,” he said.

Commenting on this on the Key Points on TV3 with Dzifa Bampoh on Saturday, August 21, Dr Yao Graham said “The president is right when he talks about budgetary allocations but at the same time there are some signals which point to him being rather thin skin in reacting in ways in which are a bit over the top.

“For example the attack on Professor Gyima Boadi. That really was not befitting of the presidency because that clearly was Gyima Boadi being personal?”