President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo along with his Ivorian counterpart, Alassane Ouattara were in the Guinean capital, Conakry, on Friday, September 17, 2021.
The duo met with deposed Guinean president Alpha Conde and also with the military junta that ousted Conde led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.
According to reports from the Guinean capital, citizens hailed the presence of Akufo-Addo whiles they expressed open opposition to that of the Ivorian leader.
Explaining the reason for celebrating Akufo-Addo, a Guinean journalist, Sulley Diallo, who spoke on Accra-based Citi FM said, Guineans regard Akufo-Addo as a democrat to the extent that he has expressly shown that he will leave office in 2024 when his second term ends.
Conversely, Ouattara last year went back on a pledge to step down after his second term to run in October polls after his chosen successor, then Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died months to the polls.
“People were very happy to see Nana Akufo in Conakry because he is a model. When Doumbouya took over he said ‘I’m going to be a model like Jerry Rawlings,’ so (for the) president (came) from Ghana, the Guineans appreciate (him).”
Asked if Guineans were disappointed in ECOWAS’ silence during Conde’s controversial referendum last year, he responded that their disappointment was really with the inclusion of Ouattara on the visiting ECOWAS delegation.
“Particularly President Ouattara from Ivory Coast, Cote d’Ivoire, people are asking what advice he will give to Doumbouya, he really adds nothing to a real democratic Africa,” Diallo stressed.
He said Ouattara arrived in Conakry as a persona non grata because of what he did back home. Guineans he stressed believed that: “Alassane Ouattara was a copy of Conde, they don’t want to see ADO in Guinea because he is a model of Conde.”
Peaceful anti-Ouattara protests started from the airport right to the Sheraton Hotel where the presidents held their meeting.
Following an extraordinary summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and representatives of government, Akufo-Addo as ECOWAS Chairperson was dispatched to personally deliver sanctions imposed on the military junta by ECOWAS to the rulers in Guinea.
It is not known the reason Ouattara joined the delegation because the ECOWAS communiqué issued after the summit said the Chairperson was expected to travel to Conakry to meet the former president and the junta.
Some of the sanctions ECOWAS slapped on the junta included travel and financial assets restrictions as well as a demand that they develop a 6-month roadmap to return the country to civilian rule.
The presence of Ouattara on the trip has equally attracted some critique in Ghana with security expert Col Festus Aboagye and North Tongu lawmaker, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa calling out ECOWAS for sending wrong and mixed signals.