Former President Mahama’s threat to mobilize members of the NDC to unleash violence during the 2020 general elections has attracted tacit responses from some leading members of the main opposition party who are ostensibly unhappy about the utterances.
They include the NDC founder and former President Jerry John Rawlings, who has warned: “Those who are bent on using violence to achieve their aims must be prepared to answer for their actions.”
In a statement seen as an indirect response to Mr. Mahama’s remarks that the NPP is no match for the NDC when it comes to unleashing violence, Mr. Rawlings said yesterday that the party he founded had done little to contain violence within it.
He was speaking at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra after visiting Yaro Ishawu, a victim of last Thursday’s La-Bawaleshie shooting incident.
Violence in NDC
Mr. Rawlings bemoaned recent bickering in the opposition party that led to a member being attacked by an NDC executive in the Volta Region.
“Edem Tekpli is a victim of our own internal violence machinery against the colleague of an aspiring parliamentarian,” former President Rawlings said.
He said the NDC MP aspirant had used most of his savings to provide water for villages in his constituency. However, he eventually received a telephone call from n executive who warned him to desist from such activities and to slow down in pursuing his parliamentary ambition.
The former President said he could not understand how an MP aspirant could not engage in activities that would endear him to the people “like the provision of very basic water”.
Goosie digs at Mahama
Meanwhile, one of the NDC’s flagbearer aspirants, Goosie Tanoh, has warned the youth not to follow blindly any leader who wants t use them for political violence.
According to him, only irresponsible leaders incite others to use violence to address grievances.
“The only time the people can take up arms is to defend the constitution. It also says the monopoly of the use of force is in the police, in the civil sector, and the armed forces in the military sector.
“No one else: no Hawks, no Kandahar, no one else. It is irresponsible political leaders who do not have your interests at heart,” he said at the weekend.
Mr. Tanoh was addressing members of the Tertiary Institutions Network (TEIN) of the NDC in the Volta Region.
“Do not allow yourself to be used and do not condone things that are wrong simply because they belong to your party,” he told the NDC youth activists.
Mr. Tanoh said the smallest sign of violence by a member of the part y could drive away not only NDC members but also floating votes, who decide the outcome of most elections.
Apparently addressing former President Mahama, Mr. Tanoh said Ghana’s constitution states that all disputes must be resolved by peaceful means and not through “boot for boot”.
In a related development, vociferous NDC member Dela Coffie has taken Mr. Mahama to the cleaners for his comments.
In an article titled “Digesting John Mahama’s boot for boot comment”, Mr. Coffie said he was surprised that a former president could “spew such words”.
“It is amazing the sheer brazenness and the absolute illogicality of such a statement from an ex-President, who from all indications is having a huge challenge in his bid at a comeback to the Presidency.
“What is equally unfathomable is how far John Mahama would go to destroy the NDC, a party that offered him the opportunity to lead it even though he was originally from the CPP stock,” Mr. Coffie said.
He wondered why Mr. Mahama would want to take up arms to settle political differences.
“A whole former President of Ghana? And he intends to engage in civil war while his children are studying in Europe and Far East?
Whose children and family members does he intend to use for his senseless and immoral civil unrest?”
He said Mr. Mahama was “a huge failure as President” who had presided over the most corrupt government in the history of Ghana.
“Mahama wasn’t good enough to be held up as an example for others to follow,” Mr. Coffie said. “He had every opportunity to set himself apart and provide excellent leadership. But he squandered it all and ended up as a failed leader, with a weak legacy if any at all.”