Nobody can ban me from campaigning in Akyem – Mahama

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has called the bluff of a group calling itself Concerned Citizens of Okyeman, for threatening to ban him from campaigning in that part of Ghana if he fails to apologise over the controversial ‘Akyem sakawa’ statement.

The group, made up of some residents of Akyem Abuakwa, Kotoku and Bosome, last week, demonstrated against the former president for what they say is his endorsement of the statement, which was posted by the member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo.

Prior to this, President Akufo-Addo, at a meeting with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, complained about Mr Mahama’s endorsement of the statement, which he said was worrying.

But speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM with Benjamin Akakpo on Monday, 14 September 2020, Mr Mahama said he did not refer to any group of people as ‘sakawa.’

He said the group cannot ban the NDC from campaigning in Okyeman.

“I didn’t say anybody is Akyem sakawa. I read a statement by Isaac Adongo, he made very good arguments and actually my mind was on the body of the argument he made and, so, I reposted it…for me, it was the argument he made that was really cogent that’s why I reposted it…,” Mr Mahama explained.

“When we all talk about Italian mafia, does it mean all Italians are mafia? When we say Italian mafia, it doesn’t mean all Italians are mafia,” he added.

Touching on the threats by the Akyem youth, Mr Mahama said: “Nobody bans anybody from anywhere. We shouldn’t go there because if other people say they are banning other people, what kind of country are we going to have? I have not said anything, I have not abused Akyem people. Indeed, there are many Akyem people in my party, why will I say anything insulting to them?”

Mr Mahama came under serious attack when he shared Mr Adongo’s post titled: ‘Agyapa Royalties Fraud Is The Last Straw: The Akyem Sakawa Boys and Grandpas must Go’.

In the article, Mr Adongo described President Akufo-Addo and some government officials as ‘Akyem Sakawa Boys’ and accused him of forming a family-and-friends cartel to capture the mineral resources of the state.

A group calling itself the Concerned Citizens of Akyem in the Eastern Region, after its demonstration on Wednesday, 9 September 2020, gave Mr Mahama a 72-hour ultimatum to apologise to Akyems or stay away from campaigning in any of their jurisdictions over such comments.

However, another Okyeman Group, Progressive Akyem Citizens, countered the claims made by the Concerned Citizens of Akyem.

According to the Progressive Akyem Citizens, the actions of the other group is shrouded in “misguided emotionalism and unhealthy political infiltration.”

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