The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says if President Mahama had bothered to read the Constitution, he would have apprised himself of the fact that the President of the Republic does not have the power to destool a Chief.
Nana Akufo-Addo was responding to comments made by President Mahama, whilst campaigning in Suhum, that “Nananom, if he (Akufo-Addo) becomes President and you criticize him, he will destool you.”
These remarks by President Mahama, according to the NPP flagbearer, point to the fact that the President has no campaign message, and has resorted to the politics of scaremongering and untruths in his bid for re-election.
“Does our President understand the laws governing our country? Has he bothered to read our Constitution? No President has the power to destool a chief. Ghana has gone past the era where a sitting President could destool a Chief. Judicial Committees of Traditional Councils are the only ones who can destool a chief, and not a President,” the NPP flagbearer noted.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, as far back as the 60’s, his father, then Chief Justice Edward Akufo-Addo, as Chair of the 1969 Constitutional Commission, enshrined in the 1969 Constitution that ‘The institution of Chieftaincy is guaranteed under the Constitution’, a provision which subsequent Constitutions have incorporated.
This, the NPP flagbearer explained, is the reason why Chiefs are debarred from engaging themselves in partisan politics, and, at the same time, governments debarred from meddling in chieftaincy affairs.
Thus, as President, “you should be abreast with the Constitution of the Republic, and have it at your fingertips. President Mahama can’t even read and understand the Constitution. He just gets up and makes unfortunate comments.”
Akufo-Addo explained that, “I have so much respect for the Chieftaincy institution. My ancestry, including my late grandfather, the Okyenhene, Nana Ofori Atta I, and my own mother, who became the queen mother of Kyebi, means I have respect for the institution. I am not the one coming to disrespect them.”
The NPP flagbearer continued, “He (President Mahama) says when I become President, I am going to drive away Muslims, residents in Zongos, amongst other things. He will never say to the people what his vision for them is or his record. Even at the launch of the NDC manifesto, all he (President Mahama) did was to talk about me. He had to be prompted before remembering that he was to talk about the contents of his manifesto,” he added.
Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his belief that recent utterances by President Mahama, coupled with his actions and inactions over the last 8 years, point to a President who appears to have little understanding of democracy.
The NPP flagbearer noted that comments by President Mahama, to the effect that continually changing governments for new ones stall development, is another case in point.
“If changing governments was bad, why did he and his party agitate for the changing of the NPP government in 2008, which was doing much better than the current NDC government? Changing government was good for him in 2008, but when the time has come for Ghanaians to change government in 2016, it’s now a bad thing”, Akufo-Addo said
The NPP flagbearer explained that it was for a good reason why Ghana’s Constitution directed that elections be held every 4 years, affording the electorate the opportunity to review the record of the incumbent and, if dissatisfied, bring in a government that will do a job for the wellbeing of the citizenry.
Nana Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, November 3, 2016, whilst campaigning in the Assin Central constituency, on the last day of his 3-day tour of the Central Region.