Alan Kyerematen’s 6 subtle ‘jabs’ at Akufo-Addo in his flagbearership speech
Six days after announcing his resignation as Minister for Trade and Industry, John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen on Tuesday, January 10, 2022, announced his intent to contest for the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party.
In a national broadcast shared across various media platforms, the multiple-times NPP flagbearer contestant also outlined some of his ideals while appealing to delegates of the party to elect him as their choice when the time comes.
Despite lauding the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for laying a strong foundation on which he intends to build his future government, Mr Kyerematen also made certain pronouncements that appear as subtle attacks directed at the government in which he served.
I believe there are things that could have been done differently
While highlighting his relationship with President Akufo-Addo and praising his government, Mr Kyerematen was quick to point out in his speech that certain things under the current administration could have been done using different approaches.
“The President has laid a strong foundation for the socioeconomic development of our country, although I believe there are things that could have been done differently. My vision is to build a superstructure on this foundation that will bring prosperity to our nation,” he stated.
We promised never to go back but we have gone back to IMF
For the government of President Akufo-Addo, one of the things that has brought heavy criticism upon the president and his “men” is the decision to seek financial support from the International Monetary Fund.
Despite kicking against calls to seek a bailout from the Fund amidst severe economic challenges, the government in a dramatic turn of events is currently seeking a $3 billion loan facility from the IMF.
According to Mr Kyerematen, although government made earlier promises to refrain from going to the IMF for help, they ultimately resorted to that because of challenges somewhat beyond their control.
“This is the seventeenth time that we have gone to the IMF over the last 57 years. We promised never to go back but we have gone back.One of the lessons that we have learnt from the recent developments is that Ghana’s economy is still fragile, vulnerable and susceptible to both external and domestic shocks.
Words without actions
Mr Kyerematen while seeking to highlight his campaign policy dubbed Great Transformational Plan (GTP), outlined what he said are seven critical issues that needs consideration.
According to the flagbearer hopeful, it has become imperative for the country to be action-oriented towards achieving results instead of engaging in talks.
Describing Ghana’s current state as “No Action Talk Only (NATO)” the former minister emphasised the need for the trend to be reversed.
“Ghana is gradually becoming a NATO country – “No Action Talk Only”. We need to remember that the use of time is a zero-sum game. What Ghana needs now are solutions and actions not debates,” he noted.
Cutting the size of government
Before the onset of Ghana’s current economic challenges, President Akufo-Addo was cited by his critics as leading an overly sized government causing strain on public resources.
The recent economic challenges of the country have deepened the accusation against the government and the need for the president to cut down on his numbers.
Without explicitly agreeing with the critics of his former appointing authority, Mr Kyerematen in his address noted the need for the size of the government to be trimmed while promising to do so if he wins power.
“The architecture of Government will be overhauled by consolidating some existing Ministries, Departments and Agencies. This will mean running a lean Government structure that will ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of Government services,” he stated.
A diplomatically neutral state
President Akufo-Addo was recently called out by some critics for alleging that the Russian paid mercenaries were operating a mine along Burkina Faso’s border with Ghana.
The president who noted the situation as a concern to the US Secretary of State during a US-Africa Leaders Summit said the government of Burkina Faso had given out the mine to the Wagner Group as payment for work done.
Prior to the statement by the president which was deemed by many as potential grounds for a diplomatic row with Russia, the government had also been criticised for condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking in his national address on Tuesday, Mr Kyerematen noted that a government of Ghana under his leadership will be neutral on matters of the international community.
“Ghana’s diplomatic and economic relations with the International Community under the GTP will be predicated on the principle of ‘positive neutrality’, based on the strategic interests of Ghana, as well as our shared commitments for the preservation of peace around the world and respect for humanity,” he stated.
A broken economy?
Before concluding his address, the flagbearer hopeful signed off with a number of proverbs to inspire hope and belief in his course.
“Akyea na emmui” he alluded to a popular Akan saying which translates to “It is bent but not broken.”
For those concerned about the current state of Ghana’s economy fraught with high cost of living and hardship, this was a way by the flagbearer hopeful to elicit hope amidst the challenges.