The Herald has picked up the disappointing mood at the presidency yesterday after Civil Society Organization (CSO) leaders refused to participate in a meeting called by the President, Nana Akufo-Addo.
This paper’s Jubilee House sources indicate how disappointed the President felt with the absence of the usual suspect of CSO leaders who participated in previous meetings with him.
Insiders hinted that President Akufo-Addo, was counting on the meeting with the CSOs and other organised groups he met in the day to woo their support and discourage participation in the Kume preko demonstration scheduled for today. However, most of the big shots in the CSOs fraternity ignored the president’s invitation.
Earlier in the week, a Jubilee House source had indicated to The Herald that the state security brief presented to the President had suggested to him that the planned demonstration could shake the city if nothing was done to discourage participation.
Therefore, the President saw the urgent need to engage the CSOs and pretend to be listening to their concerns while subtly dousing their energy to participate in the Kumi preko demonstration being organised by the private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu.
Before President Akufo-Addo delivered his “crisis” speech last Sunday, he engaged his stakeholders without the CSOs. While the CSOs were not relevant for his engagement before his speech, he later saw them as a tool for cleaning his mis-governance and preventing public outrage against the terrible economic situation he, his cousin Ken Ofori-Atta and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia have visited on citizens.
The Herald has made an effort to contact some of the CSO leaders to find out why they boycotted the President’s invitation, but some declined to comment, and others heaved a sigh in disappointment.
Already a few others are beginning to speak up on social media. Dr Steve Manteaw, who is one of the usual suspects on previous visits, took to his Facebook wall and wrote: “The President is meeting the leadership of CSOs today. My view: A complete waste of time. None of the suggestions from previous encounters has been implemented.”
The Herald’s sources prove the point made by Dr Manteaw. At the meeting on Friday, November 4, 2022, the President spoke to media cameras for his opening remarks and camera-worthy niceties but will not allow the views of the CSOs to be captured by the same cameras.
He, therefore, asked the media to leave before the CSOs could speak. The same situation happened with other meetings held during the day with groups such as the Ghana Bar Association (GBA).
Insiders disclosed that the CSO leaders who attended the meeting, were not enthused by the tactical engagement that yielded no result but supports a President who has successfully swapped the bankruptcy status of his family for the riches of the country. It is expected that some of the CSO leaders will join.