The New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its Chairman, Mr. Freddie Blay are still silent on calls by the National House of Chiefs (NHC), The Asogli State Council and Asogli Youth to apologize to Togbe Afede XIV, President of the NHC for.
There were also calls from many youth groups and the Volta Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr. Joseph Homenya condemning the alleged insults hurled at the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV by Freddie Blay.
Mr. Blay was alleged to have insulted Agbogbomefia suggesting the latter is ignorant and also talks like a palm wine tapper, following his comments on corruption perception in the country during his address at the general meeting of the NHC.
The latest in the calls for apology from the NPP and Mr. Blay is the Volta North Youth and the Volta Youth Forum in a press release to the media.
The Statement of the Volta Youth Forum signed by its Convener, Mr. Elikplim Korku asking Mr. Blay to show decorum is published below unedited.
FREDDY BLAY MUST SHOW DECORUM
It is not for nothing that the New Patriotic Party led Government of H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has made the fight against corruption a top notch one to the extent of appointing a no-nonsense anti-corruption czar as the maiden head of the Office of the Special Prosecutor with a key mandate of investigating and prosecuting allegations of corruption especially among public office holders one of whom is Mr Freddy BLAY, the incumbent National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party who doubles as the Board Chairperson of the Ghana National Petroleum Commission. The fight against corruption, as the President of the Republic has reiterated on many platforms, is a national one which every citizen worth his or her status must contribute towards if we can eliminate this canker in the country. As we have come to realize it, this fight can be made easier if our moral voices such as the revered chieftaincy institution and civil society groups show courage by speaking up against the phenomenon of corruption.
So, when the President of the National House of Chief, Togbe Afede XIV , the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State innocuously but patriotically questioned the propriety of Mr Freddy Blay’s alleged acquisition of two hundred and seventy-five buses for his party’s constituencies, he only did so as a responsible leader of an important and critical national institution. He, like other concerned Ghanaians was only heeding the call by H. E the President of the Republic for Ghanaians to be ‘citizens but not spectators’ in national affairs. Indeed, every keen observer and follower of Togbe Afede would have observed that he was being consistent with the past. He has been very critical of every government particularly on issues which bother on public office impropriety and discrimination. He has never been cowed into submission even when it is too dangerous to do so as long as he speaks for the overwhelming majority of our people who are concerned about the effect of corruption on social service delivery in the country.
But it was rather surprising that, Mr Freddy Blay who occupies such a high position in our national discourse could stoop so low as to labelling all those who questioned his capacity to acquire those buses as ‘fools’ or palm wine tappers as if palm wine tappers are nonentities whose place in our scheme of things is virtually unimportant. This kinds of comments and outright insults fly in the face of decency, respect, equality and social inclusion.
It is important for Mr Blay to recognize the fact that his attitude of arrogance, pride and condescension is inconsistent with his status as the National Chairman of a responsible ruling political party. It is balderdash, disingenuous and senseless. It is an attack on the National House of Chiefs whose platform the venerable traditional ruler spoke on. It is also an attack on the Asogli State whose head is Togbe Afede. Mr Blay must learn to grow. He must display maturity in his words and actions now that he occupies the enviable position of a national Chairman. He must equally recognize the fact that he is not a repository of insults. Given the chance, other people can insult better and more than he does. The fight against corruption is not one of insults or invectives. Insult is the tool of the cowards; it is defeatist. It is an old defensive mechanism to cow the faint-hearted into fear and submission, but it does not take away people’s perception of corruption from the insulting individual. It does not take away the fact that no rationale human being can buy and cause to donate 275 buses just for a mere love for his party unless he stands to gain something way in excess of his donation . These types of ‘gestures’ are patronizing and a leach on the national purse. They make the fight against graft very difficult.
When institutions and individuals who are supposed to protect the public purse are themselves culpable in its plunder and looting, then the fight against corruption is lost at birth. When politicians and business people show generosity towards political parties, the nation demands that they disclose the source of their wealth, and until they do that, they should not rub the sore of the electorates with salt by reining abusive words and total insults on innocent citizens who courageously question their financial capacity. After all, we live with them. We knew them yesterday and how hard it was for them to afford the things they so easily afford and commandeer today. Politicians such as Mr Blay should be guided by the knowledge that every political office is a transient one.
Mr BLAY must show decorum, sensitivity and empathy towards the Ghanaian people. He must emulate true blue party people such as H.E the President of the Republic, Hon. Dan Botwe, Rt. Hon. Speaker, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye among others who are gentle and measured in their public discourse. He must shut up if he has nothing to say by way of defense. But before then, he must apologize to the person of Togbe Afede XVI, the National House of Chiefs, the Asogli State and the Ewe tribe. He must desist from bringing the image of the government and party into disrepute.
Convener, Elikplim Korku.
Volta Youth Forum