Referendum Halt was due to Fear of Defeat – Sammy Gyamfi

Sammy Gyamfi, the NDC National Communication Officer, has indicated that the President’s suspension of the December 17 referendum is a fear of defeat.

This, according to him, shows that the NDC and all “No Vote” advocates have won and it is a “collective nationalistic decision to put Ghana first”.

Sammy Gyamfi questioned the rationale behind the President’s decision to cancel the entire exercise since his conviction was that “YES” votes would have secured a 75% of the valid votes cast.

” . . Why the cancellation of the referendum on grounds of lack of national consensus . . . Why waste the public purse like this . . .What national consensus does the president need again if he indeed has the support of 75% of voters?” he quizzed.

President Akufo-Addo announced to the entire nation yesterday that he has called off the referendum which was to take place on 17 December, 2019 due to a lack of “broad national consensus amongst the key stakeholders and the populace”.

He indicated that the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, MP, who is spearheading the process, on behalf of the government, to abort the process, and see to the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment of the Constitution, both in respect of Articles 243(1) and 55(3).

In his address to the nation, the President indicated that the attainment of a broad consensus, for him, on a matter as important as the amendment of an entrenched provision of the Constitution, is critical.

“I do not believe that such an amendment should be driven as a party matter. There has to be a clear national consensus and agreement amongst the populace that a particular entrenched provision no longer serves the interest of the people, and, thus, has to be removed,” he said.

Below is Sammy Gyamfi’s full statement

At long last, President Akufo-Addo has chickened out of the December 17 referendum for fear of defeat.

This is a clear victory for the NDC and all “No Vote” advocates. Our collective nationalistic decision to put Ghana first has paid off.

And, did I hear the President say that he believes YES would have won if the referendum had come off? If that is so and the President sincerely believes that YES would have garnered the required 75% of the valid vote cast, then why the cancellation of the referendum on grounds of lack of national consensus? Why waste the Public purse like this? What national consensus does the President need again if he indeed has the support of 75% of voters?

For the records, it’s a barefaced lie that President Mahama agreed to the amendment of article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to allow for the introduction of partisanship in our local government system as alleged by President Akufo-Addo. The attempt to use JM as a cover for this national embarrassment will not wash.

By the way, since when did President Akufo-Addo start to listen to any constructive suggestions from the NDC? Quite clearly, after wasting the public purse on this needless venture, the President ought to be giving us better accountability than these desperate blame games.

Mr President, you can cancel the December 17 referendum for fear of defeat, but you cannot cancel the impending defeat that awaits you on December 7th 2020.

Sammy Gyamfi

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