President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has welcomed the invitation by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for dialogue on the amendment to the provisions regarding the elections of district chief executives on political party lines and the aborted referendum.
President Akufo-Addo said though he had not heard about the invitation, he promised to find out, and that “I am very open to that. We should have that kind of dialogue.”
The President, who made the comments when answering questions from the media during his interaction with them at his behest at the Jubilee House on Friday, said it was late to restore the aborted referendum because all processes had been withdrawn.
Ghanaians were scheduled to vote on a referendum on whether metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives were to be voted for along party lines but the President announced the abortion of the referendum for lack of consensus. The NDC had kicked against the move, saying that the party was not in support of partisan politics at the district level elections.
After that there had been media reports suggesting that the National Chairman of the NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, had written a letter inviting President Akufo-Addo for dialogue on the future of the withdrawn referendum and other related matters.
President Akufo-Addo noted that he would take the invitation to mean that the NDC was prepared to engage him on the future of the provisions, and expressed his excitement about the development.
The Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr, asked the President about his opinion on the obvious interference by foreign entities in Ghana’s domestic politics and wondered if Ghana’s ambassadors could do same in such foreign lands.
President Akufo-Addo termed the alleged interference as “improper”, and noted that the phenomenon had gone on in Ghana for a long time with Ghanaians being complicit in it.
He also attributed some of the comments by the foreign entities to misinformation on their part.
President Akufo-Addo said he did not describe the alleged interference as improper because the remarks by the foreign entities were directed at his government but because it was about Ghana. He called on Ghanaians to contribute to the debate about such interference.
He wondered whether Ghanaian ambassadors and high commissioners stationed in foreign countries could also give their positions on internal political issues and wondered whether their foreign offices would look on.
President Akufo-Addo who made it clear that his household consumed only locally grown rice, called on Ghanaians to stop importing rice and patronise locally produced rice to boost local production and save the country the huge sums of foreign currency it used in importing the commodity.
He stated that the country would not hesitate to ban the importation of rice when the country was satisfied with its capacity to produce.
He noted that he and his household had been eating locally grown rice, and that government institutions from January 2020 would be prohibited from using imported rice on any occasion.