The Vice President of Imani Africa, Kofi Bentil has dismissed claims that President Akufo-Addo intentionally denigrated Civil Society Organisations (CS0s) during a meeting held on August 18.

“I honestly genuinely do not think Akufo-Addo intended to denigrate Civil Society Organisations,” he said.

Explaining his reason for taking that stance on Joy FM‘s Top Story, Thursday, Kofi Bentil said Akufo-Addo was a Civil Society person before becoming President.

“And the President as you know, being President for less than a decade, all of his life that he has not been President, he has been very vocal in the issues of our national development etcetera and he was speaking as a Civil Society person because he was not elected,” he said.

Mr Bentil further said, Ghanaians ought to appreciate the fact that “before he [Akufo-Addo] became President, he occupied the office of the citizen”, therefore knows the relevance of his office.

“The citizen’s office and its responsibility is more important than the office of the President, the President is there because we put him there, so I don’t think the President is denigrating Civil Society Organisations,” he reiterated.

Kofi Bentil’s comment comes after President Akufo-Addo, in a meeting held on August 18, 2021 with members of the Anti-Corruption Coalition, said he cannot overlook the partisan nature of some of the allegations of corruption and the complicity of some of the CSOs.

President Akufo-Addo said despite his misgivings about the neutrality of some groups, he is required to listen to all shapes of opinion with the overall objective to deal with the canker of corruption.

“In my commitment to develop state agencies to act in the interest of whom they serve, I have not deviated from that. But there is something we cannot overlook, the highly political atmosphere in which some of these allegations are raised, in which some of the CSOs are privy to and complicit,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Buttressing his points, Kofi Bentil mentioned some CSOs which are aligned to Akufo-Addo’s government with political affiliation to the party.

“In deed we all know of CSOs like AFAG which is directly aligned to the NPP, Let My Vote Count Coalition was aligned to the NPP, we have the Danquah Institute which is a CSO aligned to the NPP and there are many like that, which are aligned to the NPP. So even if he was talking about CSOs which are politically coloured, I still don’t think that it is a problem,” he stressed.   

He added that “at IMANI, we actually have had calls at a point to advise each of the political parties to have think-tank’s because development is a thinking intensive thing. So to that extent, that some Civil Societies Organisations are politically coloured, I don’t see anything strange about that and they have to be listened to because they are citizens.”



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