A group calling itself the Progressive Akyem Citizens(PAC) has expressed displeasure about the protests against former President Mahama over the infamous Akyem Sakawa tag.
The group described the action as reckless and dangerous to the democracy built over the years as a country.
A statement issued by the Progressive Akyem Citizens asked the demonstrators to focus on the content of political parties manifestoes “rather than clutching on tribal sentiments that may destroy our peaceful coexistence as a people.”
The Concerned Citizens of Okyeman demonstrated on Wednesday at Asamankese in the Eastern region against former President John Mahama over the ‘Akyem Sakawa’ saga.
Mr. Mahama’s sharing of article by Bolga Central Member of Parliament Isaac Adongo on Facebook in which he labelled some individuals in government involved in the controversial Agyapa deal as ‘Sakawa-Akyem boys’ has sparked uproar among members of the ruling New Patriotic Party and other groups.
President Akufo-Addo in response to the labelling complained to Catholic Bishops at a meeting at the Jubilee House to condemn the former President.
The President said: “It is completely unacceptable. If I were to get up to make comments about Northerners or Gonjas, you can imagine the uproar that would be in the country.” A comment the opposition also referred to as tribalistic against Northerner”.
The demonstrators clad in red and black wearing armband and headgear hoisted several placards with various inscriptions such as “divisive NDC, JM you have lost our respect, Name-calling; Akyems can do worse please, NDC and JM where are your policies, we Akyems will no longer stand for this, Let’s reject JM and NDC and its bigotry”.
Barima Mensah Essah Bediako II -Anum -Asamankese Chief representing the Osiawuo division of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, and the State Secretary of Akyem Abuakwa D.M Ofori Atta were spotted among the demonstrators.
The Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council thus joined calls by the demonstrators to demand unqualified apology from John Mahama within 72 hours stating that they will advise themselves should the NDC leader fails to apologize.
But in a reaction to the ultimatum given by the protestors, the Progressive Akyem Citizens said they demand no apologies from Mr. John Mahama since he has committed no wrong.
“We wish to tell our Akyem brothers that there are other pressing issues confronting the various communities in Akyem area and we expect our brothers to channel our energies towards demanding solutions to our enormous challenges.”
Below is the full statement
OKYEMAN YOUTH MUST STOP THE UNNECESSARY PARTISAN ATTACKS ON JOHN MAHAMA
We the members of the Progressive Akyem Citizen wish to express our disappointment and shock at the misguided emotionalism and unhealthy political infiltration by a group by name Concern Citizens of Okyeman.
We see their action as reckless and dangerous to our beautiful democracy built over the years as a country.
For the purposes of emphasis, let us state unequivocally:
1. That, this so called Concern Citizens of Okyeman hurriedly put together for partisan purpose does not represent the entire Akyem land. They are a few politically motivated young men who have come together to do the political bidding of their paymasters.
2. As people interested in the development of Akyem, we condemn these acts of political infiltration aimed at maligning other politicians especially John Mahama of the NDC in the name of Okyeman.
3.That, we as a group wish to state in no uncertain terms that the use of the word ‘Akyem Mafia’ and other tribal related comments to refer to Ghanaian politicians in our body politics was not started yesterday and John Mahama of the NDC is not the originator. The first time we heard of Akyem mafia was when Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy, a former campaign manager of then candidate Akufo-Addo, published in his book entitled ‘Chasing the elephant into the bush: the politics of complacency’. In the said book, Dr. Kennedy sought to describe the behavior of certain political figures in the NPP who had surrounded Nana Akufo Addo who, according to him, caused his 2008 presidential defeat through their mafia works. This gave birth to the AKYEM/KYEBI MAFIA tag on some few NPP power brokers. Where was these group? What has changed today? Is it that they endorsed the Mafia tag because Dr. Arthur Kennedy was a member of the NPP or it espoused the political might of those few Akyem political power brokers? Isn’t this ridiculous?
4. We also want to state clearly that the post on facebook which was only republished by Mr. John Mahama has the member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central as the originator.
5. Why have our brothers decided to crucify Mr. John Mahama who only shared a comment by somebody? Is this a case of let’s hang the dog and give it a bad name?
6. For the records, Hon. Adongo in that Facebook post used the Akyem sakawa boys to refer to a few people in government who have been engaging in fraudulent acts and were pushing for another, named Agyapa Royalties deal. He, at no point referred to we, the people of Akyem, as Sakawa People.
7. It will therefore be an overstretch, born out of partisan political mischief, for anybody to extend and generalise such specific description of a few of our compatriots in government, to all Akyems.
8. Such a reckless Generalisation, triggered by His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, and inciting this NPP group, only seeks to further divide us as Akyems and create unnecessary tension in our Republic.
9. Rather than showing such blind Solidarity to a few of our Powerful kingsmen in Government, we will advise our compatriots to channel their energies in advising them to behave in a manner that brings honour to we, the citizens of Akyems.
10. Again, We demand no apologies from Mr. John Mahama since he has committed no wrong.
11. We wish to tell our Akyem brothers that there are other pressing issues confronting the various communities in Akyem area and we expect our brothers to channel our energies towards demanding solutions to our enormous challenges.
12. We expect all of us to judge all political parties by the content of their manifestoes rather than clutching on tribal sentiments that may destroy our peaceful coexistence as a people.
13. Consequently, we will demonstrate in the coming days to show our protest against a few of our compatriots in government!!
We thank everybody and wish that our friends will cut this pettiness and fight for the welfare of our Akyem land.