Aspiring Central Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Benjamin Aryeh, has jumped to the defence of President Nana Akufo-Addo following the latter’s public bashings over his comments on the anti-LGBTQ+ bill.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, speaking in an exclusive interview on Peace FM’s morning show with Kwami Sefa Kayi, responded to calls on him to state his position on the controversial bill.
Many Ghanaians have been craving to hear the President’s voice on the bill.
In reply, the President called for a civil discourse advising Ghanaians to be tolerant of one another’s views.
”We’re talking about public opinion. We’re talking about legitimate processes that are being used. What I would hope for is that the debate itself will be civil and that we will recognize the need for us to be tolerant of each other, even when there are opposing views,” he said.
When asked if he feels burdened by calls on him to declare his stance on the bill, he exclaimed; “No, I can’t feel pressured!”
On whether or not he supports the bill, the President responded; “It’s in Parliament. It’s a Private Members Bill. We have been fighting for [many, many] a long time the opportunity for private members to also sponsor bills of Parliament . . .The Parliament is looking at it. Let’s see how the process develops.”
Making his submissions on ‘Kokrokoo’, Hon. Ben Aryeh backed the President’s admonition for civil discourse on the bill.
To him, the President is right to ask Ghanaians to be tolerant of each other’s views for or against the bill.
” . . the President feels that this stage is for opinion-sharing and that no one should intimidate or restrict one’s freedom of speech, so everybody can express his/her views or opinions without fear for it to help to shape the bill into a better Act. I feel it’s a call in the right direction.”
”If you don’t agree with me, don’t attack me physically. Send your opinions to the Legislative House for us to debate on it and then the majority makes the decision; it ends there. When it’s finished in Parliament, we will present it to the President and when the President assents to it, then it becomes a law in the country’,” he added.