One of Ghana’s former Presidents, John Dramani Mahama, has criticised President Akufo-Addo, for his lack of tolerance in accepting dissenting opinions.
According to him, no government in Ghana’s history, has demonstrated “a lack of democratic temperament, in dealing with issues of dissent and public criticism, than the one headed by President Akufo-Addo”.
Speaking at an event, dubbed, “Ghana At A Crossroad”, at the Kempinski Hotel on Monday, Mr. Mahama bemoaned previous incidents, involving the arrest of some journalists and citizens who had publicly criticised the current regime.
“For the first time under the fourth republic, eight Ghanaians were brutally gunned down during elections in 2020 by agents of the state and government and yet no action has been taken against the perpetrators.
In his view, such acts are capable of undermining the country’s democracy.
“I have cautioned that the penchant for unjustified arrests, detentions and prosecutions pose a great threat to the freedom of citizens as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution and will mar our good standing as a serious democracy”, he emphasised.
Mahama’s remarks on government’s intolerant posture, was part of a series of reservations, which he expressed, while addressing the nation on Monday night.
In his delivery, he added that, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), found their way into power, after lying to the Ghanaian people, through the use of lofty promises and unrealistic campaign messages.
Mr. Mahama said the deception which was employed by the NPP to win power, has been exposed by the current disparity between what the party promised to deliver and the current state of affairs.
He stated that, having failed in office, the NPP has now resorted to deliberate distortion of facts, just to cover up for their inability to deliver on their promises to the Ghanaian people.
He therefore called on all Ghanaians, to take active roles in making the country, better.
“Sitting on the fence is not an option in nation building. History will not remember us kindly if we accept the gradual degradation of our society and do not make an attempt to inspire ourselves to make a difference in our generation.
We must join hands to ensure that we restore our nation on the path to prosperity and opportunity for all our people”, he charged.
Touching on the controversial E-levy policy, which was rolled out on May 1, the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer, declared that, the NDC as a party is not opposed to the idea of using taxation as a means of revenue mobilisation.
He however stressed that, taxes which impose untold hardship on citizens must be discouraged.
On that note, Mahama reiterated that, if the NDC wins the 2024 general election, the party will repeal the new tax directive, which many Ghanaians have publicly criticised.
“A new National Democratic Congress Government, God willing and with the votes I’d the sovereign people of Ghana – 2025 – will repeal the E-levy Act”, Mahama mentioned.
Following this pronouncement, scores of Ghanaians on social media have welcome the news, and expressed their delight in the opposition’s plans regarding the E-levy.
In this regard, Senior Vice President of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, and private legal practitioner, Kofi Bentil, in a Facebook post, shortly after the address, wrote that, “NDC promises to scrap e-levy. They just won 100,000 votes”.