Anyone who claims not to have known the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo prior to 2017 as a stern, bold, no-nonsense and decisive politician, must have only come onto the scene, or, just never quite knew the man.
In fact, for the millions of Ghanaians who, twice went to the polls to give their nods to the man touted for his human rights attributes and ‘saviour abilities’, they could have beaten their chests in confidence that Akufo-Addo was the right man to crack down on all forms of ills in this country.
However, like reverse clockwork, all of those expectations and hopes gradually waned or disappeared, creating a situation where people have come to question if the man was really as stern and uncompromising as he was made out.
A recent case in point has been his near-silent approach to dealing with the personality known as Sarah Adwoa Safo, the Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya. But it isn’t quite about her mysterious place as an MP, but much more about the fact that she is also a minister of state (Children, Gender and Social Protection), appointed by the hitherto ‘powerful’ Nana Akufo-Addo.
The conundrum on whether or not Adwoa Safo is rather the ‘powerful’ block of this government that was never quite known to Ghanaians, or if she commands far more authority to be so untouchable, is a mystery only the following facts can closely provide answers to.
Just before that, however, it must be established that the reason the Adwoa Safo subject is coming up is for two main reasons: she has been absent from both parliament and her ministerial jobs for close to a year without much of a convincing excuse, and the fact that she has proven more than once that she can flout directives and not get penalized for it – not even by the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Here we attempt to rationalise where she draws her source of power.
Adwoa Safo’s father
Being one of Africa’s giants of engineering, the revered manufacturer’s role in all of these cannot be taken out.
He might not be politically active or be the kind of person who speaks on national issues, but there is no running away from the other fact that his influence in the backyard corridors of political power cannot be underestimated.
If for nothing, some of the reasons his daughter came into politics and continues to win the hearts of many, especially in her constituency, is because of his influence. Research-based or not, that is a widely known detail about her political life.
Or, maybe let’s just say that is too outrageous a linkage to be making so that we focus on another powerful arm of Adwoa Safo’s mysterious grip on power, amidst the several reasons for her to no longer be in political office.
Kennedy Agyapong, the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, is another important character in this story not because he is also a member of the same party as Sarah Adwoa Safo, but because of a more personal connection.
The Two MPs have children together and while they are no longer together, the undeniable fact is that Kennedy Agyapong, being one of the most powerful, outspoken and ‘untouchable’ people in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), could be one of the reasons she continues to be so ‘preferred.’
But again, that doesn’t seem quite to be the case because, as the Assin Central MP has said recently, he has made several attempts at getting her back to work but all have failed.
According to him, despite having a past relationship with her, she is an adult and is married and as such, he cannot continue poking his nose into her affairs any longer.
In a June 24, 2022, interview with Sunyani-based Suncity Radio’s morning show, Agyapong admitted the part he played did not work.
“Adwoa Safo is in America. She is not my wife, I only have two kids with her, she is an independent person, so it is her decision to stay wherever she is.
“I have said my part but it did not work so I back off. So, if she is not back, nobody should ask me… because she is a married woman and I cannot interfere in her marital affair… I have done my part and it did not work,” he stressed.
Now that we have seen the roles that the president, her father and her baby-daddy, all of whom have different levels of influence, have in this ensuing conversation, perhaps it is time to look at another independent arm of government that perhaps should have the teeth to bite her, literally.