The Minority in Parliament has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to show some level of tolerance for constructive criticism.
That, it said “was the only means we could truly serve the hopes and aspirations of the Ghanaians.”
A statement signed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, in response to President Akufo-Addo’s comments at the Ashesi University congregation over the weekend, a copy of which was made available to the Daily Graphic, said: “ The Minority would continue to hold your government accountable on behalf of Ghanaians.
The statement further called on President Akufo-Addo to do the right thing by putting the national interest ahead of partisan considerations.
“We urge you to think of the 23 million Ghanaians you are about to deny citizenship. We urge you to be President for all and not a selected few,” the statement added.
The Minority, according to the statement, noted with surprise the sad commentary engaged in by President Akufo-Addo and said “the unfortunate comments and needless attacks by the President on the Minority were misplaced.”
The statement said the minority had taken note of the attempt by the President to pitch us as not being patriotic and against a national project.
“Mr President, may we remind you that this process commenced under our period of government at a more prudent cost of $115 million and was more encompassing, taking into consideration every Ghanaian citizen properly so called.
“As a Minority, we expected that even if the President was going to comment on the matter, he would have sought to give a credible explanation to the outrageous cost of $1.22 billion that his government is saddling the Ghanaian tax payer with for the Ghana Card.”
“We expected the President to explain to Ghanaians why they are paying in excess of $40 per card when across the world, the average price is $5 per card. This exorbitant and outrageous drain on the public purse is of no concern to the President apparently,” the statement added.
“Even more astounding is the President’s claim in his unprovoked attack on the Minority, that there is no more credible basic document requirement for establishing nationality or citizenship than a birth certificate or a passport,” it said.
“May we remind the President that only seven million out of 30 million Ghanaians have the two documents he spoke of. Is the President suggesting that he cares less about the citizenship or nationality of the remaining 23 million Ghanaians?” It asked, and reminded the President that his pronouncement could not supersede Chapter three of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which sets out in clear unambiguous terms who a citizen is.
The statement further advised the President to be mindful of the dictates of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution and how this provision and its related processes, including the Supreme Court ruling in the Abu Ramadan versus EC, led to the use of the voter’s ID cards in electing not just him as the fifth President of the Fourth Republic but also all 275 Members of Parliament (MPs).
“Mr President, it is this same voters ID card that was used to elect you. Are you by any means suggesting that your election was illegitimate?” it said.
“The President has a duty of care to the Ghanaians and the Ghanaian voter to ensure fair and equitable coverage of all eligible citizens in any national exercise in a manner that does not seek to disenfranchise any citizen. Your actions contravene the letter and spirit of Articles 35 (2) (3) (5) of the 1992 Constitution and this is deeply regrettable.”
“In your inauguration speech, you called for us to be citizens and not spectators,in this vein we will continue to hold leadership to account on behalf of the Ghanaian public,” the statement concluded.