It is arguably inevitable to stay on the safe bench as a politician. One may make statements against their opponents or unintentionally make a comment which may provoke some reaction.
There was a list of these in the year 2022. Some quite interesting ones.
As we wrap up the year, GhanaWeb has compiled a list of such remarks that have got Ghanaians talking;
I will not resign; it’s like abandoning my children – Ofori-Atta:
This year was not necessarily good for the finance minister considering the economic status of the country, taxes that have largely been protested, and the country’s debt situation.
There have been calls for his resignation time and again, mostly over mismanagement allegations but an announcement that the country was heading for an IMF bailout appeared to have courted even more calls for his head.
A number of Ghanaians; CSOs and individuals alike called for the finance minister to give up his position for another more capable individual who perhaps will be able to turn around the fortunes of the country.
In response to these calls, Ken Ofori-Atta disagreed. His arguments were that a resignation, particularly at a time like that will suggest that he is turning his back on Ghanaians. He further likened the situation to a father who was giving up on his children because of circumstances beyond his control.
“It is almost like telling a father to resign from his children because he is changed his mind. There are times that decisions have to be made for the survival of a country and therefore if circumstances such as COVID or the Ukraine war occur which are not typical, it does change the environment, and sensible people will change their minds,” Ofori-Atta said.
I am not afraid to be voted against:
This maybe was the biggest! The president’s comments about voting. Like the finance minister, the president has not been spared by critics who believe Ghana is not at a good place because of some decisions by the latter.
It was during one of these periods that some residents of Manso and Kwabre in the Ashanti Region had threatened to vote the current government out if their issues about bad roads are not dealt with.
Responding to this in an OTEC FM interview in Kumasi, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made a comment that got many people literally in stitches.
In the interview, the president stated that he is not moved by threats of electoral consequences by some supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He explained that he knows that people will vote for their preferred candidates in an election and that voters can also not be forced to make choices in a democratic dispensation, hence there was no need to threaten a government with votes.
Their concerns were conveyed by the journalist who conducted the interview on OTEC FM.
“The people of Kwabre and Manso, we know they voted massively for Nana, they have asked me to inform the president that if their roads are not fixed, they will be pained and in 2024, they will vote against the NPP,” the journalist asked after the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, had responded to a question.
“No problem, no problem. I am saying people make those kinds of threats, me, they don’t frighten me. Somebody votes for you, somebody supports you, it is because they want you to do things for them, so I understand that,” the president quickly weighed in with a response.
“But if it comes to the election and you choose to vote for the NDC, that is your own issue that is not my worry because nobody holds your thumb to vote; it is your own work. The important thing is that I understand my responsibility, and we will deal with it,” the president added.
I will shame you all:
Still in the Ashanti Region for his tour, the president took an opportunity while making an address to send a statement to persons he believes are his political detractors in the region.
According to him, these people will be shamed one by one by the numerous work he has done for the people of the region, which is considered the ‘political world bank’ of the governing party; the NPP.
President Akufo-Addo stated that for the past six years that he has been in office, the people of the Ashanti Region have benefitted enough from his government, therefore, his detractors cannot say otherwise.
“And to those of you going around saying bad things about me in the Ashanti Region, one after the other, they are all going to be shamed convincingly, today, tomorrow and the day after.
“In spite of our present difficulties which I know will be gone as soon as possible, I continue to be excited about the future prospects of the nation and I urge all Ghanaians to join hands in building the Ghana that we want, we can realize it if we all work at it,” he said.
This statement also got tongues wagging.
I’m not so sure if Aisha Huang was deported:
In September, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appeared to have stirred some talk with submissions during an interview with Stone City Radio in Ho during his tour of the Volta Region.
During the interactions, he made a statement about the case of the embattled Chinese galamsey ‘kingpin,’ Aisha Huang (En Huang).
Speaking in that interview, President Akufo-Addo said it is likely that the ‘galamsey’ queen may not have been deported, but rather fled the country in 2018.
“… I am not still sure whether she was, in fact, deported or whether she fled the country the first time and has now come back or whatever. There still seems to be some uncertainty about it.
“Whichever way it is, she has become a sort of nickname for all that the ‘galamsey’ represents and also, unfortunately, for the involvement of Chinese nationals in this illicit trade,” he said.
The statement came under a lot of public scrutiny because it was determined to have contradicted what some of his appointees had said on the same subject, to the effect that Aisha Huang had actually been deported from Ghana in 2018.
I ‘reluctantly’ agreed to extend the time to September 30 – Ursula Owusu:
The Minister of Communications and Digitization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has been urging Ghanaians to re-register their SIM cards to avoid disruption of services. After several warnings, the Minister extended the August 31 deadline to September 30.
While addressing the nation on measures taken against Ghanaians who are yet to register their SIM cards said she reluctantly agreed to extend the second deadline time to September 30 upon consultations.
“Upon consultation with stakeholders in the industry and in view of the challenges enumerated above, I have reluctantly accepted to extend the re-registration exercise to September 30, 2022,” she said.
Some Ghanaians criticised her for this comment. Among other things, they suggested that Ursula’s use of the word ‘hesitantly’ was quite unnecessary.