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“Akyem sakawa” comment: apologise or stay away from Okyeman, group warns Mahama

Concerned Citizens of Okyeman have given the former president John Mahama a 72-hour ultimatum to offer an apology or stay away completely from their region

The leadership of the group Concerned Citizens of Okyeman have given former President John Mahama a 72-hour ultimatum to apology or stay away from their region.

Their demand follows what they call unsavoury, reckless and incendiary comments made against the chiefs and people of the three Akyem states by the NDC MP for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo. These were endorsed, repeated, defended and justified by the former president and leader of the National Democratic Congress, John Mahama.

The group made the demand when it addressed a press conference today (9 September 2020) in Asamankese in the Eastern Region. In their statement read by spokesman, Archibald Ntiri-Acquah, the group noted that “the comment of John Mahama describing Akyems as ‘Sakawa People’ has now become a tag to ridicule Akyems as criminals, fraudsters and untrustworthy”.

“The issue of concern is not the original statement purportedly made by Mr Isaac Adongo. It is rather about the NDC’s campaign style of inciting tribal hatred. We heard the NDC flagbearer and other leading members whipping a hate campaign during the voter registration exercise to incite the people of the Volta Region, with lies that Nana Akufo-Addo, an Akyem royal, was deliberately using soldiers and other discriminating means to suppress registration of people from the Volta Region, predominantly Ewes.

Some of the demonstrator at the event held at Asamankese in the Eastern Region

“However, even though about 19% of people in the Akyem traditional states are Ewes, there was not a single case of any Ewe person being harassed or prevented from registration all throughout the exercise,” Ntiri-Acquah said.

According to the group, “The Akyem Sakawa comment is his latest act of desperation in seeking a return to the presidency to continue from where he left off when he lost power in December 2016. The true definition of Sakawa is when the president of a country allocates over 70% of the country’s bauxite resources, valued at $450 billion, to his younger brother, Ibrahim Mahama.”

“True meaning of ‘sakawa’ ”

“The true meaning of sakawa is when President John Mahama gave the total control of our nation’s forestry and timber business to his brother who before had no prior experience in the timber business.

“We saw how his brother and his team pillaged the forests of Akyem in those days and our complaints led to naught. Who was responsible for depleting Ghana’s rosewood timber by working with some Chinese firms to export them illegally?” the group asked.

The Concerned Citizens of Akyem in concluding their statement called on the elders of the NDC to advise Mahama to apologise unconditionally to all citizens of the three Akyem states within 72 hours and pledge not to make such derogatory statements in the future.

“Failure to comply will cause all Akyems to prevent Mr Mahama and the NDC from campaigning in any of the three Akyem states,” the group said.

Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio

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