The opposition National Democratic Congress has warned that it will not back down from the contentious description of the President and some of his close lieutenants at the Presidency and in Government as “Akyem Sakawa”.
In Ghana, “Sakawa” is synonymous to fraudsters, and the President and his close friends and appointees at the Presidency are to a large extent, of Akyem ethnicity.
The description had been coined by Isaac Adongo, the Bolga Central Member of Parliament of the NDC in a statement he issued to condemn the “naked robbery” of the Akufo Addo administration in the scandalous Agyapa Royalties deal.
The NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama later reposted Adongo’s statement, saying it was an “interesting” perspective. Mr. Mahama has since been thoroughly chastised for allegedly stoking ethnocentric sentiments with the statement. Indeed, a clearly unamused President Akufo Addo had to run to the clergy to call the NDC to order.
However, the Deputy General-Secretary of the NDC, Peter Otokunor says there is no reason for former President John Dramani Mahama to apologise for the “Akyem Sakawa Mafia” comment.
According to Otukunor, the statement had been taken out of context by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and President Akufo-Addo.
“Indeed we are talking about the Agyapa Deal and how fraudulent we think it has been, and how a group of people from the president’s family are planning to dupe an entire country. And that is where the tag came from. It doesn’t mean all Akyems are ‘Sakawa’ boys” Otukunor told Accra-based Joy News.
Mr. Mahama himself has shot down any possibility of redress by saying President Akufo Addo had no moral right to make such demands, since he had been on record to have made similar remarks.
Indeed, during his complaints, Akufo Addo, made a glancing reference to Gonjas and people from the Northern part of Ghana, in what has forced some group of Northern youth to condemn the embattled President Akufo Addo for ethnocentrism.
Otukunor explained why an apology will not be necessary from ex-President Maha, referring to the “name-calling campaign” mounted by the NPP from 2012 to 2016, where they described Mr. Mahama in non-glamorous terms as “incompetent”.
“We have had occasions where President Mahama has been called ‘incompetent Mahama’, which ruins his title as a President. On no occasion did President Akufo-Addo and his running mate call President Mahama a President with the word incompetent in exclusion,” Otukunor said, adding that the NDC has no intention of retracting the statement.
“We are only discussing this because of the President’s reaction. Mahama did not express that level of anger, and that is why we didn’t have everybody discussing it and calling for an apology”.