The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ketu South, Abla Dzifa Gomashie has waded into the public debate about President Akufo-Addo’s comment that the people affected by the floods from the Akosombo Dam spillage did not vote for him.
In a radio interview with Accra based Class FM on Tuesday afternoon (Oct 17), she described the President’s comment as unfortunate, arguing that for a very long time, the people of the region had been neglected by President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.
A number of communities in South Tongu, Central Tongu and North Togu districts have experienced severe flooding following the spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong dams by the Volta River Authority (VRA).
Following the impact of the flood waters from the dam, President Akufo-Addo on Monday, October 16, 2023, visited the area to sympathise with the victims and said the government’s immediate action was to provide relief items and that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture will look at a term plan on how to assist farmers whose farms have been destroyed by the floods.
It was during his (President’s) address that he said he had come to visit the area to provide any assistance they needed to live comfortably and safely as Ghanaians and that he took the oath of office as the President for the whole country.
President Akufo-Addo said he could not neglect the people in their time of need even though they did not vote for him when he contested the Presidential elections.
“When these things happen and government acts, politics does not come in at all. I took the oath of office as president to protect every citizen of Ghana, whether they voted for me or not, once I have taken the oath, I am the president. So Togbe, I want you and your elders and the people to understand that the government is acting for all Ghanaians,” he said.
“I came here because Ghanaians are having difficulties and suffering and it is my responsibility to try and help, because if it is a question of who votes for me and who does not vote me, I should not be here because you don’t vote for me, that is not my concern,” the President added.
President Akufo-Addo explained that when the tragedy occurred, he was out of the jurisdiction in the United States of America (USA) but has already discussed with the Chief of Staff on what has to be done in response to the tragedy.
Reacting to the President’s comment in the Class FM interview, the Ketu South MP said President Akufo-Addo should not have made such a comment to people going through devastating disaster.
She accused the President of neglecting the people of the Volta Region during disasters, pointing out that when parts of the region experienced a tidal wave disaster, neither the President nor his vice president made any comment on the matter or even visited the people.
For Madam Gomashie, the President should not have made that political comment during a meeting with people who are traumatised with floods and that this was the least thing the president should have said during his visit.
“His excellency the President should be ashamed of himself,” she said, adding that disaster issues in the region have been handled ineffectively by the President.
At least, 26,000 people have been displaced along the lower Volta Basin as of the last count Monday as officials continue to take stock of the extent of havoc and devastation caused by the spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong dams.
The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has confirmed that the spillage by the Volta River Authority (VRA) has disrupted economic activities, stripped communities of their livelihoods and left many people needing emergency help in food, water and health care.