Chiefs in Ekumfi, a constituency in the Central Region, convened a press conference on Monday in response to President Akufo-Addo’s recent assertion that he had neglected the development needs of the Ekumfi area due to the rejection of his preferred Parliamentary candidate in the 2020 elections.
Addressing the media on Monday, January 29, 2024, the Paramount Chief of Ekumfi, Odeefo Akyin VIII, emphasized the principles of democracy, highlighting the people’s right to freely elect their parliamentary representatives. He cited the 1992 Constitution, which led to the election of President Akufo-Addo, noting that no provision in the Constitution empowers the President to dictate the constituency’s choice of a legislator.
“Per our understanding of the very Constitution which recognizes free and fair elections, one of which made His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the President, there is no provision in the 1992 Constitution which mandates the President to decide who the people of Ekumfi or for that matter any other constituency must elect to represent them in Parliament as their legislature.”
Expressing profound shock at the President’s statement, he remarked, “We are extremely shocked by those statements and struggle to believe same to be true because we particularly did not believe that the President who is mandated by the Constitution to be responsible for the development of the country could politically segregate the country and treat others with disdain and dislike; and vehemently deny us development because we did not vote for his preferred candidate.”
Odeefo Akyin VIII argued that the people have the democratic right to choose their representatives and challenged President Akufo-Addo to provide evidence of the former Member of Parliament for the area, Ato Cudjoe’s contributions to Ekumfi.
He stated, “Our call comes on the heels of the fact that the same Honourable Ato Cudjoe who is preferred by the President and whose exit from Parliament has become the reason the President has neglected Ekumfi, has once again lost miserably in the NPP’s internal party primaries conducted to elect a parliamentary candidate for the 2024 General Election. If the President’s own party folks could reject Honourable Ato Cudjoe, why must the Chiefs and people of Ekumfi suffer for his exit in 2020?”
Expressing concern over the potential infringement on democratic rights, Odeefo Akyin VIII remarked, “We are deeply worried about the statement made by the President as it has called into question the people’s democratic ‘right to vote freely.’ After all, the tenets of democracy include the ability of the people to freely elect who they deem fit to be their representative in Parliament.”
For him, the people of Ekumfi only exercised their democratic right during the last election and this right must never be used as a tool for punishment, by the very President who is enjoined by the 1992 Constitution and his own Oath of Office to uphold the Constitution of the country.