Akufo-Addo’s South Africa Trip: I’m sorry – Sammy Gyamfi

The Communications Director of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has apologised and retracted same on his comments that there was no parliamentary notification with regards to a recent trip, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo embarked on to South Africa.

The young lawyer cum politician took a swipe at President Akufo-Addo for “secretly and unceremoniously” attending the Global Citizen Concert held in Johannesburg, South Africa with his relatives.

Mr. Gyamfi in a statement accused the President of failing to “inform Parliament about this trip contrary to the Constitutional imperative to do so whenever the President intends to leave our jurisdiction.

On December 2, 2018, Global Citizen brought together its largest contingency of heads of state, dignitaries, a group of the world’s most talented artists and influencers, and thousands of global citizens to celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela.

It was aimed at raising $1 billion for causes such as “ending hunger and increasing access to good nutrition, ending neglected tropical diseases, reducing HIV transmission rates, ensuring every child receives a quality education, reforming and repealing sexist laws, providing funding for women’s health and family planning, and ensuring access to clean water and safe sanitation worldwide.”

But Gyamfi asserted that it was entirely wrong for the President to attend such an event especially when there were pressing issues begging for solutions.

“This is the height of insensitivity and irresponsibility on the part of our President. This act also underlines the misplaced priorities of this government,” he said.

“What breaks my heart more is the fact that in times like this, when the cost of fuel is so high, coupled with rising import charges and worsening exchange rate, our President finds it expedient to fly out secretly to enjoy a concert by Jayzee and Beyonce in far away South Africa. Let’s we forget, CETAG is still on strike, all Colleges of Education and the GIJ remain closed. Yet the President is unperturbed, and rather chose to cool off in a foreign land. How does this sit well with the conscience of the President?” he asked.

However, it turned out that Sammy Gyamfi’s claim was false as the President in a letter dated November 30, 2018 and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament actually informed Parliament of his decision to honour an invitation to the program.

The letter had indicated that the President would be out of the country on December 1, 2018 and return on December 3, 2018.
 
Following the backlash,  Sammy Gyamfi has admitted his wrongs and withdrawn on the parliamentary notification claims asking the President to pardon him on that false claims.

“Admittedly, I got the point about the lack of Parliamentary notification for the President’s SA trip wrong. I hereby retract and apologise for same.

“However, that point is only one of the many issues I raised in my post. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t change or impair in any way the substance of my post. Our NPP friends cannot therefore hide behind this to exonerate the President from blame in this matter.

“The crux of my case is that, it was a misplaced priority and an abuse of the public purse for the President and his family to have attended the SA musical concert at the expense of the Ghanaian. I maintain that it was insensitive and inappropriate for the President to have attended that concert at a time that Ghanaians are reeling under excruciating and torrid economic hardships,” Mr Gyamfi wrote in a statement.

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