The National Organiser of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kofi Adams, has accused think tank Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) of behaving like a “headmaster” for going ahead to announce that there would be a one-on-one debate between President John Mahama and main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, without properly consulting his party.
The IEA announced the debate on Tuesday May 10 at a press conference, but Mr Adams said the IEA should have engaged the parties before making such a proposal public.
Speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3fm Wednesday May 11, Mr Adams told host Prince Minkah that the IEA was gaining notoriety for doing things without consulting parties.
“No, it [the debate] is not welcoming because the organisers, IEA, cannot continue to disrespect political parties and persons that are involved. If Class FM wants to organise any debate, I don’t think you go on air and start announcing…even before you approach us. You have to approach us first and get the consent even before you go public to do anything,” he stated.
“I don’t think Class FM will start promoting or suggesting something without engaging the persons, or, at least, their political party representatives at a discussion level. We have not had any engagement with IEA, then you say because you have done a survey, you have gone public announcing without engaging with the political parties. It is not fair, it is not right.
“The fact that we would want to take part in a debate does not mean you [should] disrespect us. We are an organisation, we are an institution, and we need to be treated with the appropriate respect. IEA is not a headmaster in this country.”
Although the IEA said it had written letters to the political parties to that effect, Mr Adams said the institute had not engaged the NDC in any discussions to that effect.
“When you write to political parties, you have to engage them. You don’t write inviting one for a meeting or a function and then you go ahead and do what you have done without engaging us in any discussion.
“As far as I am concerned, the NDC is not aware of any discussions at the level of organising a debate between two persons, three persons, or all political parties. All these modalities have not been put out there yet, so, I am not aware.
“Maybe they wrote to the NPP and had discussions with the NPP and not with the NDC. …IEA is becoming notorious for that. … Engage political parties because we also have our programmes and that must equally be respected…
“IEA is not a headmaster. Even headmasters these days engage their students with discussions to let them know that: ‘We would do this’, ‘We will do that’, ‘What are your views?’ before the SRC leadership announce at assemblies.”