His comments come at the back of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who said he was "very disturbed" by the ethnocentric tagging of his ethnic group but also noted that "that is the kind of language we don't want in our politics."
'Akyem Mafia and Sakawa' tag: Nana Addo has the precedence of name-calling - Mahama
"He's the President who has called his critics naysayers and Jeremiahs...I don't understand what standard he can be offended at this time because he has precedence of name-calling," the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, has said.
"Sometimes, one would hope when things come out, people will comment on them. The comment made by my opponent 'Akyem Sakawa' people, I have not heard any public figure in this country or anybody comment on it," he said at a meeting with the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference at the Jubilee House on Friday, August 4, 2020.
He said, "If I was to get up to make a comment about northerners or Gonjas, you can imagine the uproar that will be in the country."
Mahama in response to the President said he has no right to complain about the 'Akyem Mafia' and 'Sakawa Boys' tags used to describe some of his 'friends and family members' in his government, who is behind the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal.
Mahama said although, he shared on his Facebook timeline a post by the Member of Parliament for Bolga Central, Isaac Adongo, who said the Agyapa deal, a Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the government of Ghana which dominated the media landscape is a "big fraud on Ghana" by the government, he will "be the last person to disparage any tribe or ethnic group."
In an interview on TV XYZ on Saturday, September 5, 2020, Mahama stated that: "In the first place, the National Chairman of my party, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, NDC, is an Akyem and so are many leading members of my party and members and supporters and when I was President, I appointed many Akyems in my government."
"The head of our Manifesto Drafting Committee, Prof Danso Barfuor, is an Akyem and they have all contributed to our government and our forward march to recapture power in the December elections in order that we can create jobs, spread development in an equitable manner throughout the country," Mahama noted.
He said: "Everybody knows me since I’ve been in politics and I’ll be the last to express any ethnic sentiments...President Nana Akufo-Addo has lost the right to complain a long time ago."
He explained that "He [Nana Addo] was an opposition leader who called Presidents before him anything you can imagine, including 'Prof Do Little' and then he described somebody as a 'Simpa Panyin' and I don't want to repeat the others things he said."
Commenting on Nana Addo's angry disposition, Mahama said "I think that temperament in leadership is very important and there are many things a president should attend to and you must not appear, in public, to have lost your cool."
He advised him that "He [Nana Addo] seemed very angry, that's true, but I think he should maintain his temperament to come across as a good leader."
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