President John Evans Mills

IT APPEARS President Atta Mills is on a collision course with the Ashantis over what some Members of Parliament have described as his incessant ethnocentric innuendos at the Ashanti Region.

Presenting his fourth state-of-the-nation address to Parliament yesterday, President Mills indicated he did not intend to bring violence in the Ashanti Region, neither did he know of anybody seeking to use his name to perpetrate such act.

However, just after the presentation of the address, some MPs said they were outraged and highly scandalized by President Mills’ unprovoked innuendos at Ashantis.

“The last time President Mills said this Ashanti project or agenda. What is this Ashanti project? Today he is talking about violence in Ashanti region. What is it about Ashantis and why does he always single out the Ashanti region for his innuendos and not other regions?” Kwaku Baladoo Manu, MP for Ahafo Ano South in the Ashanti Region quizzed angrily.

He said instead of giving the correct state of the nation, President Mills had rather decided to engage in ethnocentrism to polarize the nation.

“Why has the president failed to give us the true state of the nation, why has he not told Ghanaians the reasons for the failed STX housing deal and why has he not informed the people any thing about the Woyome scandal in which billions of cedis to Alfred Agbesi Woyome?

“President Mills has failed to tell Ghanaians how their money was given to Woyome for no work done and yet he found it appropriate to cast innuendos at Ashantis,” Mr. Baladoo Manu fumed.

Prof. George Yaw Gyan-Baffour, MP for Wenchi, said the mention of Ashanti Region in President Mills’ address was unfortunate and regrettable.

Minority MPs

The former deputy minister for Finance and Economic Planning said the president should have used the opportunity to reconcile a deeply divided nation and not rather make ethnocentric comments.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour said he was hugely disappointed over President Mills’ comments that could have security implications.

“Why is the President talking about election violence in Ashanti Region?” Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, MP for Old Tafo in the Ashanti Region, who is also a former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, asked.

He expressed his disappointment about President Mills’ state-of-the-nation address, saying that the chief executive of the land had failed to tackle the real issues such as corruption, particularly the Woyome scandal.

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, MP for Kwadaso, said the ethnocentric comments showed how divisive President Mills was and not a man portrayed as a peace-loving person.

“President Mills’ comments were a reflection of the mediocrity of his state-of-the-nation address,” the Kwadaso MP stressed.

Expressing his disappointment, MP for Ahafo Ano North, Richard Akuako Adiyia, said President Mills’ statement was full of ethnocentric innuendos, non-reconciliatory and lacked vision for Ghanaians.

Isaac Kwame Asiamah, MP for Atwima-Mponua in the Ashanti Region, said the message was “part of gargantuan lies” the Mills administration had been peddling around and that Ghanaians should show him the exit.

“All the figures of exercise books and school uniform Mills said his administration has provided are all cooked up figures as they are non-existent on the ground,” Mr. Asiamah, the Minority spokesperson on Youth, Sports and Culture, stated.

However, NDC MPs insisted the president was spot on in his delivery as he attempted to deflate the impression that government was planning to disrupt voting in the opposition NPP stronghold of Ashanti Region.

Deputy Minister for Energy, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, who is also the NDC MP for Tamale Central, said President Mills was a peace-loving person who would not do anything that would divide the country.

His colleague deputy Energy Minister, Emmanuel Kofi-Armah Buah, who is also the MP for Ellembele, reiterated similar sentiments, saying President Mills’ address was highly appropriate as he adequately captured all the sectors of the economy.

By Awudu Mahama

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