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National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has said President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, cannot take all the blame for the failures of his administration since the Vice President is equally culpable.

He says as Vice President, he is like a co-pilot who takes over in the absence of the President and can equally be blamed when things go wayward.

Sammy Gyamfi has been explaining that in as much as the constitution puts the same qualification yardstick on both the President and the Vice, with the latter not required to be even sworn-in before taking over in the President’s absence, it puts him in a position of a deputy who cannot be absolved of blame in instances of failure.

Sammy Gyamfi’s comments come on the back of President Akufo-Addo’s reiteration of the assertion that “the buck stops with the President” to reemphasise the Vice President’s position of not being accountable for the government’s shortcomings because he is a mere driver’s mate.

Speaking on Onua TV’s Maakye with Yaa Titi Okrah Wednesday, February 28, 2024, the Head of the NDC Communication Bureau admitted that even thought the ultimate responsibility of the failures and successes of every administration lies with the President, the Vice President also has a direct responsibility which he has to be accountable for, be it good or otherwise.

“It is true the President said the buck stops with him because his appointees and Vice are all there to provide support for him. He has not said anything new because no one has said the Vice President is the head of the Executive neither has anyone said the Vice President has the ultimate responsibility to be blamed if something goes wrong. What he has said is that the Vice President’s position is very important in the government making the President’s office ineffective without it.

“The Constitution also says the Vice President should possess the same qualities as the President and therefore act in his stead when the president is absent.

“So the Vice is like a co-pilot who takes over from the lead pilot when he gets tired. We are not looking at people’s utterances but what the Constitution says because there are many mates who cannot drive but you can’t say same about the Vice President whom the Constitution says should be judged by the same yardstick as the President. That is why in the President’s absence, he can act in his stead. He does not even swear to take over because he is there as a deputy,” Sammy Gyamfi said in response to President Akufo-Addo.

‘As Vice Prez., I am a driver’s mate, but if you vote for me, I’ll take the driver’s seat’ – Bawumia to Ghanaians


During the State of the Nation address (SONA) address Tuesday, February 27, 2024, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “under the Constitution, the executive power of the state is vested in the President of the Republic. He or she is the Executive.”

“There is no ambiguity about where the buck stops, when it comes to responsibility for what happens in the government. It stops with the President, he or she has ultimate responsibility,” he added.

The President’s comments come on the back of the brouhaha stemming from the Vice President’s recent comments of him being a driver’s mate and can therefore not be blamed for the mishaps of this administration.

During his address to announce his vision to Ghanaians as flag bearer of the NPP ahead of the 2024 elections, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia urged Ghanaians to vote for him to take the driver’s seat in order to be fully in charge of affairs.

Advancing his defence, President Akufo-Addo noted that even though there are other persons on the cabinet that may offer advice, it is the prerogative of the President in whom the Executive power resides to take it or otherwise.

“It would be an unwise President that would pretend to have all the answers, and refuse the advice of his officials, but the fact remains that the President holds the executive power,” he noted during the delivery of the 2024 State of the Nation address.

“The Cabinet, the Ministers of State all act in an advisory manner. Of course, a member of the government might take an idea, be it generated by the President or the official or a committee, and turn it into a huge success, and the honours would be claimed or shared where public perception falls.

“But, ultimately, the President is responsible, and, therefore, takes the credit or the blame for whatever happens in his or her government. Let me make a second point. The programmes that come from the Executive benefit from the rigorous public examination and debates to
which they are subjected,” the President added.

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