According to him, those reports are false, and his statement made on the day have been deliberately twisted by some media houses to put him in bad light.
Receiving the 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party in his palace on Saturday, May 21, 2016, on day-3 of Nana Akufo-Addo’s 4-day tour of the Volta region, Togbui Fiti V explained that as the Paramount Chief of the Aflao Traditional Area, his reach extends into the Republic of Togo and Benin.
He indicated that with “all the tribes in the ECOWAS countries here in the Aflao Traditional Area”, he told President Mahama during his visit to his palace that “looking at the nature of my people, I have the votes, I have the people, I have the numbers. Aflao is a beautiful lady that I am putting on the table for handsome men like you to come and take home. I will never hide my beautiful queen. If the next party should come tomorrow, I will still put beautiful queen on the table”.
He reiterated that at no point in this interaction did he pledge to give 100,000 votes to President Mahama in this year’s election.
“My word is that I have the numbers. Parties should come and campaign and get the numbers. I am not saying I am giving the numbers to any particular party. No!” Togbui Fiti V stressed.
He continued, “I am here for everybody, no matter your colour or party. I will not differentiate between Party A and B. No! This is my land, and my people. They listen and hear my voice whenever I am ready to speak with them. But, I will not give them my voice that ‘go and vote for party A or B’. I will never do that in my life. I am a Traditional Ruler.”
The Chief, therefore, indicated to Nana Akufo-Addo that he was free to campaign in Aflao, emphasizing that “I am giving you the entry permit to go into the town, campaign, give them your vision, what you can do for them and I am sure by God’s grace you will get your way through”.
Highlighting the bonds of friendship that exist between the NPP flagbearer and himself, Togbui Fiti V told the gathering that it was through the efforts of Nana Akufo-Addo, then Foreign Minister, that he and a delegation of Chiefs from the Aflao Traditional Area were able to secure visas to travel to Canada to attend to work assigned them by the Traditional Area.
Again, he indicated that as Foreign Minister, Nana Akufo-Addo was responsible for extending the closing time at the border from 6pm to 10pm.
Alan Kyerematen, who was also present at the meeting, had special mention from Togbui Fiti, for his efforts in helping the people of Aflao when he was Minister for Trade, Industry and PSIs.
“When Alan was Minister for Trade, I went to his office to ask of him to help lift the embargo placed on the importation of certain items through the border so my people can get something to eat. He did something (in that regard) and my women also got something to live on,” he added.
ECOWAS Regional Market
Taking his turn to address the gathering, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the concept of Aflao being central to ECOWAS, as espoused by Togbui Fiti, is one he subscribes to.
“ECOWAS is a very important project for us, for the development of our country. We believe strongly that if we can make a genuine market out of ECOWAS, it presents a platform for us for the future prosperity of our country. So a town which is a symbol of ECOWAS, like Aflao, has a very high place in our plans,” he indicated.
To the people of Aflao, the NPP flagbearer pledged the establishment of an Industrial Zone in the district, comprising Ketu North and Ketu South constituencies, which constitute the eastern borders of our country, to facilitate the export of industrial products from Ghana to our eastern neighbours – Togo, Benin and Nigeria. This will promote the establishment of factories in the district to create thousands of jobs for the unemployed youth in the area, when Ghanaians vote for him and the NPP in this year’s elections.
The development of Ghana’s salt industry, which is one of the occupations of the people of Aflao, will be prioritized.
“Every year, Nigeria imports over 1 million tonnes of salt from Brazil. If we are able to support our salt infrastructure in Ghana, we can develop the industry as we have a big market in Nigeria that we can supply; not ten days sailing from Brazil, but one and a half days from Ghana. These are the plans we have and we believe that if we get the opportunity to put these plans into reality, the hundreds of thousands of jobs that our young people need will come,” he added.
He urged Togbui Fiti V, and the Chiefs and people of Aflao, to discount the propaganda making the rounds that he, Akufo-Addo, is anti-Ewe and that the NPP has a tribal agenda against Ewes.
“There is not an iota of truth in any of this. It is clear propaganda. The NPP and Nana Akufo-Addo do not have a tribal agenda. We have a Ghanaian agenda. We want the opportunity to bring progress and prosperity to all parts of the country, without discrimination and without difference. This propaganda is meant to divide us, to bring division amongst the peoples of this country. It will not help us,” he stressed.
He, therefore, appealed for the support of the people of Aflao in this year’s election, asking them to “trust me and I will not disappoint you.”