The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, is the least enthused by the President’s State of the Nation Address, saying Prof. Mills only succeeded in “showing his true colours – tribalistic”.

President Mills might have incurred the wrath of the NPP for comments about the Ashanti Region in his address delivered to Parliament Thursday, though it was supposed to be a personal commitment to peace and probably no malice towards the Ashanti Region, the stronghold of the opposition NPP, in the 2012 elections.

“I have instructed the security agencies to be alert and deal positively with those who want to derail what we have ahead of us (2012 elections). Whatever the case, I can assure you that it is our determination to ensure that we have free, fair and transparent election.

“Atta Mills has no intention of bringing violence to Ashanti nor is he aware of anyone using his name to disturb the peace in Ashanti,” the President assured.

Nevertheless, the apparently innocuous comments by President Mills have stirred the hornet’s nest as NPP party officials questioned the president’s motive for singling out the Ashanti Region.

The party’s General Secretary Owusu Afriyie, also known as Sir John, told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Thursday that the comments confirmed the Wikileaks’ report about President Mills, concerning a certain “Ashanti project”.

He said it was needless for the President to mention the Ashanti Region alone, according to him, it would have been “acceptable” if he had generalized his statement on security.

Mr Afriyie stressed that the President’s statement is “tribalistic and pregnant with a lot of meaning…and…confirms our worse fear about the President’s intent as it appeared in the Wikileaks report .”

But the Director of Communications at the Presidency Koku Anyidoho said the President’s impromptu remarks were in reference to Thursday’s Daily Guide’s report headlined “Mills Secret Plan Out”.

The report suggested that the President is adopting strategies to create confusion in strongholds of the NPP, especially in the Ashanti Region, before and during the general elections.

“To start with the impending biometric voter registration, the NDC hatched the plot to cause artificial shortage of registration materials, cause anarchy and disturbances during registration, and unofficially reduce the number of days for the registration in the Ashanti Region, according to NDC position paper intercepted by DAILY GUIDE,” the paper reported.

But Mr Anyidoho explained the President’s stance: “…among other things, he corrects this erroneous impression and says that ‘I have no agenda to create any confusion in the Ashanti Region’. It is as simple as that. There is nothing tribal about it, there is nothing demeaning about it.

“All he is doing, is to rather reassure the people of the Ashanti Region that if you all woke to this story, ‘I have no such agenda’.”

Source: Joy Online


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