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General News of Friday, 31 December 2021


Most controversial political statements in 2021

These politicians attracted some discourse with some of their utterances in 2021 play videoThese politicians attracted some discourse with some of their utterances in 2021

In life, words are vital as they always find a way to come back and haunt the individuals who speak them but especially in politics, everyone is watching, you’ve got to be extra guided.

So it was, as the year 2021 unfolded, some major happenings emerged and during these, some politicians made statements that shook, surprised, fascinated, and in some cases, angered some Ghanaians.

In this piece, GhanaWeb puts together some of these:

Demonstrations don't build roads – Kwasi Amoako Atta

Roads and Highways Minister, Kwesi Amoako-Atta appeared somewhat unhappy whilst delivering a speech following the inspection of the 31.7 Kwafokrom to Apedwa road in the Eastern Region.

He was making a point about some demonstrations that had gone on previously, to demand for good roads in some areas. One of such protests was the one led by Madina MP, Francis Xavier Sosu for the repair of deplorable roads in his constituency.

The Minister was trying to explain why all roads cannot be constructed simultaneously by the government.

It is unreasonable for anybody to say that all roads everywhere should be fixed simultaneously. So these demonstrations should stop. Sometimes you get people who are supposed to know better, well-educated people who should advise their colleagues joining demonstrations. Demonstrations don't build roads," Mr. Amoako-Atta stated.

His comments appear to have gone wrong with major sections of the public who thought it was a wrong move.

Akufo-Addo can’t remove me from office but I can remove him – Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, caught public attention with his comments about Parliament and the Executive Arm of Government.

Speaking at a post-budget forum held at Ho in the Volta Region in November, Alban Bagbin sought to remind members of the house, about the power they wield as members of parliament.

According to him, the eighth Parliament of Ghana’s Fourth Republic which he presides over, will not be bullied into playing second fiddle to the executive branch of government.

He also noted that Parliament has powers that can affect the Executive but the same cannot be said when it’s vice versa.

“Let me reemphasize that the 8th Parliament is properly positioned not to allow itself to be bullied into playing second fiddle to the executive. Parliament can remove His Excellency the President; His Excellency cannot do that to Parliament. As Speaker, His Excellency cannot remove me, but I can, through Parliament, get him [the president] removed,” he said.

' You are not poor if you can send GH¢100' - Ursula Owusu defends new E-levy:

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Communications Minister, whilst attempting to justify the government’s introduction of a new 1.75 E-levy, courted the public’s anger with some utterances she made.

According to her anyone who has GHC 100 or more to transfer cannot be classified as poor.
“We have made it a part of this policy that up to GHC 100 a day per person is exempt. This the state is saying, if you are sending up to a GHC 100 a day, cumulatively, you can send up to GHC 3,000 a month, that is all going to be tax-free.

“Now if you have more than GHC 100 to send a day, then you are not poor. So if you really are poor and you are in a position to send GHC100 a day, then we need to re-classify the definition of who the real beneficiaries of these are and it is only the sender who pays, not the receiver,” she said whilst speaking on GHOne TV.

2024 will be a do or die affair:

Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), during his ‘Thank You Tour’ in the Bono East Region made some rather interesting comments that were tagged as controversial.

According to him, the NDC had drawn lessons from their previous encounters during elections and are therefore making serious changes in the next elections.

“The polling station will be a do or die affair. I haven’t said all die be die, it will be do or die at the polling station, in 2024 that is where we will win the election. We will be doing everything to ensure that the election is free and fair. We don’t want to cheat the NPP and we also don’t want them to cheat us. We just want the will of the people to prevail,” he said.

Following this, however, Mr. Mahama received some backlash from sections of the public and some civil society groups who suggested that his comments, like the NPP’s ‘All Die be Die’ were sensitive and could stir chaos.

The former President however justified his comments, describing them as an idiomatic expression.

“What I’m saying is, NDC must not wait to go to the Supreme Court. We have to be vigilant at the polling station and collation centres. And so I won’t retract. The next election for NDC is going to be a do or die affair,” he repeated on Moonlite FM in Sunyani.

Complete abandoned E-block if you are frustrated – Akufo-Addo tells Aflao chief:

Following a four-month ultimatum given by Aflao Chief, Torgui Adzonu-Gaga Amenya Fiti V to the Education Minister, for the completion of the abandoned E-Block Community Day Senior High School, President Akufo-Addo had this to say;

“Many of the E-blocks are being worked on across the country.

“Is he [Torgbui Adzonugaga Amenya Fiti] the one to give the minister ultimatum, then he should go ahead and complete the project,” he told host Kwami Sefa Kai on Peace FM.

This did not go down well with a number of persons including some Minority Members of Parliament who felt the President’s comments were harsh and disrespectful considering it was in response to a traditional ruler.

A deputy speaker is not a Speaker – Joe Wise' comment that sparked chaos in parliament:

Chaos broke in Parliament on November 30, after First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, made some comments whilst sitting in for the Speaker.

Joe Wise who presided over the sitting, counted himself as part of Members of Parliament (MPs) present, to add up the number of Majority MPs in the chamber, to take a decision to overturn the rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Giving his ruling on a motion by the minority to have the approval of the budget reversed, Joseph Osei Owusu, drew a distinction between who a deputy speaker is and who a Speaker is.

“Honourable, here’s my ruling. I have not heard anything here today which was not discussed yesterday. All the arguments that have been made were practically the issues raised and it's contained in my ruling yesterday. A few matters though which I wish to classify. First, it must be clear that a deputy speaker is not a Speaker. Indeed, Article 96 (1) of the Constitution says and I quote ‘there shall be two deputy speakers who shall be elected by members of parliament from among members of parliament,” he said.

“And to contrast that to ‘Mr. Speaker’ …Mr. Speaker is not a member of Parliament. I am a member of parliament and the Honourable second deputy speaker is a member of parliament and our role is to assist the speaker in managing this House. Any attempt to read and interpret the constitution of ‘Mr. Speaker’ to include the deputy speakers is a misreading and a misapplication of the constitution. But when Mr. Speaker is not available, either of us can preside over the House. So can any other member if necessary. Any other member can be elected by the House to preside. That member does not lose his right to be a member of the House” he further explained.

This did not go down well with members on the minority side who said he had no right sitting in for the speaker if that was his stance. Then next thing was drama parliament.

Teaching won’t make you a millionaire – Akufo-Addo tells teachers:

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo advised teachers to explore other avenues of making revenue rather than depending solely on teaching to excel financially.

According to him, teaching is mainly a profession for persons who genuinely want to contribute to society and not necessarily make money.

“I don’t think anywhere in the world that people go into teaching and expect to become millionaires and make money if you want to do that you do other things,” the President told teachers in an interview.

This sparked some wild controversy considering teachers have, for a long time been asking and urging the government for better conditions of service.

Bring my mother back – Zanetor appeals to NDC

It was a bold step but it earned her ‘talks’. Dr Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings, during the commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the late former president, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings said the National Democratic Congress (NDC), ought to work towards uniting the party for victory in 2024.

This she said includes bringing her mother, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings who broke away from the NDC to form the National Democratic Party (NDP), back to the party.

“I’d say the thing that nobody wants to say: Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings is an integral part of this party. Let us do what we have to do to bring her back,” she appealed.