President Nana Akufo-Addo has accused some civil society organisations of campaigning against his re-election bid in the 2020 general elections but says he will nonetheless give an ear to their commentaries.
At a meeting with members of the Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition at the Jubilee House, Mr Akufo-Addo assured the CSOs: “I’ve not shirked, in any way, my commitment that we should try and develop a state whose agencies act not in the personal interest of those who man them at any given time but in the interest of those who they serve”.
“I’ve not retreated in any way from that”, he insisted.
The president, however, pointed out to the CSOs that “I think, also, there are some things that none of us can overlook: the highly-politicised atmosphere in which many of these accusations are raised in Ghana”.
“Some of you even, some of the CSOs are privy to and complicit [of], where the line between them being independent commentary and being politically-related commentary, is very very thin and, in many many cases, there are lines that are, in fact, crossed”, the president complained.
According to him, “there are civil society organisations that mounted campaigns to make sure that I did not continue to sit in this seat”.
“I don’t know, for myself, I think that there are a lot of objective people that will appreciate the positions that I take”, the president posited.
“But nevertheless”, he observed, “when you are in this seat, you are required to listen to everybody, especially to people like you [CSOs], to take into account the statements and the commentary that you make and then we’ll move forward from it”.
“I think the thing that we all have to be thankful about in Ghana is that we now have an atmosphere where this kind of discourse can take place without the fear of the midnight knock because it has not always been like that in this country”, the president noted.
The president also said his government’s commitment toward the fight against corruption unwavering.
According to him, the records can show that his administration, since 2017, increased resource allocations to anti-corruption institutions such as the judiciary, police, Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), parliament, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), among others.
“It is unfortunate that the perception is that the commitment of government is waning, especially when two or three facts are taken into account”, the president pointed out.
“I don’t think that any government has mobilised resources to give the opportunity for anti-corruption agencies of the state to function as efficiently as this government has done. It is a matter of record,” he said.
“If the institutions of the republic that are meant to take the struggle are not capable to do so, all talk about fighting corruption remain meaningless,” he noted.