The National Communications Director of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Ahiagbah, has taken a swipe at the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over its posture regarding support for victims of the spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong dams.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday, October 16, subtly reminded some victims of the Akosombo Dam spillage at Mepe in the Volta Region about the fact that he had visited to sympathize with them regardless of the fact that the residents there do not vote for his party.
Many have criticized the president, describing his comment as unpresidential and insensitive. The NDC in particular has not taken it lightly and has berated him for such comments at such a critical time.
Some have demanded an apology from the president, despite his assurance of the government’s support to the thousands who have been affected in many communities in the North, South, and Central Tongu districts of the Volta region.
But speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosiisen on Tuesday, Mr. Richard Ahiagbah said the NDC is clearly playing politics with the situation as it has always sought to do each time the government has to intervene in any situation in the Volta Region.
“I think the language being used isn’t appropriate. I think we need to put the issues in perspective. For a very long time, at least in this 4th Republic, issues about the Volta Region are always been politicized. Even if someone wins an award in the Volta Region and the NPP presents that award, they will politicize it.
If someone from the Volta Region doesn’t also get the award, they will say it’s because of politics. So as long as it’s something about the Volta Region under this 4th Republic, the NDC will politicize it, and that’s the most unfortunate thing.”
According to Mr. Ahiagbah, he sees no reason to politicize a disaster when people are urgently in need of help and the government, together with other relevant agencies, is already responding to that call.
He said there was no need for the president to visit the disaster areas in the first place since the government structures and systems were already working to address the issue at hand.
I don’t even understand why this issue has been politicized. In disasters of this nature, when the President goes there, he usually gets in the way, and governance is structured, so if the President hasn’t been there, it doesn’t mean the structure is not working, and it doesn’t mean the government is not working, but the NDC will politicize it.”
In his view, the President being there at the time when relief efforts were being coordinated, among other things, was in itself a distraction.
“For the period of time that the president went and they had to sit down, they lost daylight that could have been used to organize some things, but that wasn’t done.”
And so for them [The NDC], the business of helping the people is not their concern; the optics is what NDC majors in. What’s the value of the optics if the person doesn’t get help? If the person is not cared for, what’s the value of the president’s visit? When the president visited, it’s become an issue; when he hadn’t visited, it was also an issue.”
The president doesn’t need to be there to demonstrate that he likes or doesn’t like Voltarians. And I think, as someone from the region, I find it always insulting that the NDC will always politicize this matter as if that is the only way development can come to the Volta Region. When they are in government, what happens there?” he quizzed.
He explained that the president’s comment was in response to some propaganda that had gone on before his arrival in the region, hence his decision to clarify why he was there, only for his comment to be misinterpreted for political gains.
NDC MP for Buem, Kofi Adams, who was a guest on the show, said Mr. Ahiagbah was only seeking to defend the indefensible to make his party look good.