General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has accused President Akufo-Addo, of deliberately speaking in a local language (twi) during his encounter with the clergy and some traditional leaders on his government's position on the issue of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) so as to confuse development partners.
To him, the President's actions is akin to “someone who says no with his head and yet his mouth is saying yes; and so which one will you accept?”.
The Akufo Addo-led NPP administration has come under a barrage of criticisms from religious leaders, civil society groups and concerned individuals and institutions for surreptitiously introducing CSE into the school curricula. Although the educational authorities have denied the allegation on several platforms, the explanation given has not gone down well with many people who have asked the government to come clear on the CSE.
Last Friday, the Minority in Parliament held a news conference, during which it called on the president to publicly state his position on the matter.
They pointed out that the President's silence was not helping matters and only went to confirm the general belief that the government has something to hide.
And perhaps in a bid to bring finality to discussions on the controversial CSE debate, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was emphatic that his administration does not intend to go against the norms and values Ghanaians holds so dear.
In a brief address at the St. Cyprian's Anglican Cathedral at Asem in Kumasi over the weekend, the president said in twi: "We have no plans as a government to do anything that contravened the norms and values of the society".
"There is only one thing i want to say: i think you people have heard within the past days, some discussions have gone on that I and my government want to teach our children some the things that are inappropriate. I brought the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy to strengthen the country so that our children will all get the opportunity to learn and through the education, we will all see the progress we want for this country."
" I didn't bring it for our children to be taught inappropriate contents. So long as i sit on this big seat as the President of this nation, and as a Christian, it will never happen that i will agree for inappropriate things to be taught in our schools. So, please keep your cool. Whatever they are saying has no truth in it," he added.
But speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning, the NDC Chief Scribe maintained that it will take more than the President's assurance for Ghanaians to believe the NPP will never implement the CSE so long as the training manuals are still with the teachers.
He pointed out that the assurance by the President Akufo-Addo contradicts his earlier comment of “it is bound happened”, when the issue of advocacy by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender movement gain prominence in the Ghanaian media landscape a couple of years ago.
To him, President Akufo-Addo must take punitive action against the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempreh and the Information Minister, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah for lying against his government on its position on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
“And so, certain things must happen before we will believe the words of President Akufo-Addo because what two of his Ministers said on the matter are at variance with what the President has said; meanwhile, they are both speaking for the same government. The President must demonstrate that he didn’t send Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh to print out the training manuals and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah too, the defense he put out for the government is different from what the President has said.”
“If the decision was taken at Cabinet with the knowledge of the President for which training manuals were printed out, then what the President has come out to say cannot be accepted as the truth that he will not allow the implementation of the CSE...but if it happens that Cabinet didn’t sanction for the implementation of the CSE and the Education Minister went behind the Cabinet to print out training manuals then who does that minister represent or whose work is he doing? There must be punitive action before Ghanaians will believe that the President is telling the truth”, he argued.