The flag-bearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the legendary inconsistency of the government, particularly President J.E.A. Mills, relating to the Ivory Coast situation, had a dangerous potential to hurt Ghana’s standing internationally.
He said the conflicting signals the president was giving pertaining to his stance on the Ivorian crisis, portrayed Ghana as an inconsistent, unreliable and dodgy partner of the regional grouping, ECOWAS.
Nana Addo was speaking to journalists at a press conference addressed by the chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
President Mills interacting with senior journalists on the second anniversary of his presidency on January 7, said he did not think any military intervention would resolve the election crisis in the neighbouring country – as proposed earlier by ECOWAS and which he had endorsed. He had said Ghana would not be able to contribute soldiers to any such intervention.
The president however appeared to shift from his position when he met AU-appointed mediator in the crisis, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday.
Some critics have since accused the president of ambivalence and ambiguity on the matter.
Opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, who served as a former Foreign Minister in the Kufuor administration, said once President Mills had accented to an ECOWAS Communiqué threatening the use of legitimate force to oust Mr Gbagbo if he remained intransigent, expressing a view contrary to the contents of the communiqué was undermining the collective position of not just ECOWAS, but also the continental body, AU, the international community and the world body UN, who are all unanimous in their call for Mr. Gbagbo to leave power.
For him, it was “for ECOWAS, not Ghana, to make a determination of when you move from diplomacy to other forms of action. That is not a Ghanaian decision, it is the decision of the body to which we are members.”
“We should be the last – having regard to our history on this continent of always being at the forefront of African solutions – to renege on the African position,” he added.
Speaking to suggestions that the NPP was advocating for Ghanaian soldiers to be sent to Ivory Coast to be slaughtered, Nana Addo said, “Those are matters that are determined when the matter [of military intervention] arises. Nobody is calling for Ghanaian troops [to be sent to Ivory Coast] today, what we are calling for is a concerted diplomatic action to make sure that the ECOWAS position which is a reflection of what happened in Cote d’Ivoire, prevails.”
Regardless of what President Mills feels or thinks, he must not, in his public utterances and actions, undermine the collective position of the African organisations, Nana Addo said, insisting that, “that to me is the minimum that is required of the president.”