Selective Concern: Akufo-Addo’s Twitter diplomacy leaves Ghana’s major misfortunes unaddressed

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo boasts an impressive Twitter following of over 2.5 million, making him arguably the most followed Ghanaian politician on the platform.
Through his Twitter account, he navigates diplomatic communications, extending congratulations to world leaders, commemorating monumental global achievements, and paying tribute to departed global figures, among other endeavours.

In Ghana, the President uses Twitter to engage the populace on his policies, and programmes and also to express his love for his wife on special occasions.
Using TruthNest, a social media analytics tool, which offers users data regarding the activity, the network, and the influence of public Twitter accounts, Fact-check Ghana found that four out of the President’s six most popular tweets (from his last 2199) were about issues in Nigeria, Libya, and the United States.

Notably, President Akufo-Addo has commented on global issues such as condemning Donald Trump’s derogatory remarks about Africa and advocating for justice in the #JusticeforGeorge and #EndSars movements.

The President’s critics, however, say he is quick to turn to Twitter to mourn with the rest of the world but is blind to his countrymen’s moments of grief.

Admittedly, the President uses the same platform to console victims of disasters, including the Appiatse tragedy which took 13 lives, injured dozens of others, and wiped out parts of the community, the Atomic Junction gas explosion in October 2017 which killed seven, and the Dompoase accident in January 2020 which snatched 34 lives.

Fact-Check Ghana compiled a list of heart-wrenching accidents that didn’t attract presidential tweets since Akufo-Addo became president. Using advanced search, a Twitter tool that allows users to find specific tweets on the social media platform, Fact-Check Ghana searched the president’s tweets on the date of these accidents.


1.  6 dead in road accident at Gomoa Okyereko

About 6 passengers who were travelling from Liberia to the Budumburam Camp in Ghana were reported dead after their bus and a fuel tanker collided at Gomoa Okyereko in the Central Region. According to the National Road Safety Commission, 48 persons are currently receiving treatment at the Winneba Trauma Hospital and the Winneba Municipal Hospital. Although news of the catastrophe traversed the media on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, the presidential Twitter handle was silent on it, even a day after the tragedy.

2.  17 children drowned in two months

On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, nine schoolchildren drowned when a canoe carrying them capsized and sank in the estuary at Faana in the Weija-Gbawe Municipality. A similar disaster took the lives of eight children at Atikagome Community in the Sene East District of the Bono East Region on January 24, 2023.
On May 10, 2023, the President’s tweet announced the setting up of a vaccine manufacturing committee. It went silent the next day.

On January 25, 2023, a day after the Sene East accident, he shared an article about
the importance of quality education amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He shared the
link from a website

3. Ejuraman accident

On February 6, 2023, the dining hall roof of Ejuraman Anglican Senior High School in the Ejura-Sekyeredumase District of the Ashanti Region collapsed during supper, injuring 35 students. Five students ended up in intensive care. The incident happened on Monday, February 6, 2023. While anxiety built in Ghana about the tragedy, news broke of a devastating earthquake in Turkey. Ghanaian footballer, Christian Atsu, who was playing for Haytayspor, was reportedly trapped under the rubble. President Nana Akufo-Addo tweeted about the earthquake and Atsu’s situation but did not comment on the collapsed dining hall.

4. Bawku Violence

The Bawku violence is a longstanding feud between the Mamprusis and the Kusasis. In December 2022, this renewed tribal conflict resulted in the death of 18 persons and the destruction of properties. The renewed Bawku conflict at the time lasted from December 22-27, 2022.
During that period, there was no tweet from the President although he had pledged on several occasions in the past to ensure an end to the conflict.

5. 3000 people rendered homeless

At least 3,000 people were rendered homeless after tidal waves swept through their homes at Keta in the Volta region. The incident occurred on November 7, 2021. President Akufo-Addo did not comment on the incident. He received backlash from many Ghanaians on social media, including some opposition party members, including the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa.
“President Nana Akufo-Addo’s conduct since this national tragedy is totally unacceptable. When this happened, I expected him to have canceled his trip to Cape Verde. He should have driven some three-hour journey to visit the victims,” Mr. Ablakwa said.

6. 10 students die in Oti River accident

Ten students of the Saint Charles Lwanga Junior High School (JHS) at Saboba in the Northern Region died when their canoe capsized on the Oti River on November 13, 2021. The victims were among 31 students of the school who had allegedly gone to work on their headmaster’s farm earlier in the day and were returning home when the disaster struck. President Akufo-Addo did not make any comment on this unfortunate incident but a day after the incident, his Twitter handle was flooded with news of government projects and programmes.

7. 2020 Electoral violence

On December 7, 2020, Ghanaians marched to the polls to elect a new president. President Nana Akufo-Addo was re-elected to serve a second term in office but at the expense of innocent lives. The National Election Security Taskforce recorded 61 electoral and post-electoral violence within two days. At least five people died and 15 others were injured.
On the day of the election, there were several tweets by President Akufo-Addo, urging Ghanaians to step out and exercise their franchise. On December 9, two days after the violence, President Akufo-Addo tweeted, “Thank you Ghana for voting 4more for Nana.”
Some Ghanaian Twitter users got disheartened by the President’s tweets that failed to acknowledge the lives lost for the first time during an election in the country in recent times.

8. 60 dead in accident

At least 60 people died in a head-on collision between two buses in the Bono East region. The crash happened on Friday, March 22, 2019. The story was published by Ghanaian and international news platforms such as Aljazeera. But on the said date, President Akufo-Addo posted what can be described as a motivational message.

9. Flood kills 1, renders 1767 homeless in Eastern Region

On October 4, 2019, a four-hour downpour at Asuboni and Akyem Bososu in the Kwahu West Municipality and Fanteakwa South district displaced 599 residents and collapsed six houses. Due to the rains, the Asuboni rails flooded, causing the death of one person and displacing 1,168 residents. President Akufo-Addo did not tweet anything on his Twitter account that day but three days after that, he was wishing the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, a happy birthday.


10. Twenty children drown in Apam

On March 7, 2017, about 20 children drowned in Apam in the Gomoa West district of the Central region. Three of the children were rescued while the bodies of 13 were found, according to media reports. The deceased, aged between 14 and 17, had gone to the beach to swim when they met their untimely death. Many Ghanaians trooped to the community to commiserate with the parents of the deceased. But on that day, President Akufo-Addo did not tweet. A day after the accident was March 8, an international day to celebrate the achievements of women. President Akufo-Addo tweeted about a visit from the organisers of Miss Ghana. He also tweeted about the role of women in the development of Ghana to mark International Women’s Day.


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