Let’s forgive Mahama, he erred – Peace Council Chairman
Chairman of the National Peace Council Professor Emmanuel Asante has lashed out at former president John Mahama for his recent comments on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election shooting incident, indicating the utterances smacked of violence.
On the back of the shooting incident near a polling station in the by-electionThursday in Accra, John Mahama was reported to have said no political party in Ghana can outdo the National Democratic Congress in unleashing violence.
Condemning the violent incident that caused injury to at least six persons and forced the NDC to withdraw from the election, Mahama accused the NPP of propagating violence, stating that the NDC can equally dish out same when pushed to their limit.
No one can beat NDC when it comes to unleashing violence – Mahama tells NPP
That comment has been condemned by many Ghanaians who hold the view that Mahama’s statement smacks of inciting violence which they argued does not augur well for a democratic country like Ghana that is noted for peace.
Commenting on the issue Saturday on TV3 Key Points, Prof. Asante said the former president should not have made such a pronouncement which has the tendency to fuel more violence in the country.
He said the Mahama should have commented on the violent occurrence at Ayawaso as a leader to calm nerves instead of fueling the already agitated people.
“In the face of provocation, leaders must lead the way and one will expect that tempers will be controlled. I will want to say that, it is very unfortunate that a leader or a statesman will come out and say such a thing,” Prof. Asante stated.
Without mincing words, he added: “In this particular instance, my brother his Excellency went overboard and I think we need to say it just as it is”.
He however noted that inasmuch as Mahama erred in making such a pronouncement, he should be pardoned.
That, he explained, is because the former president also owes a sense of responsibility to NDC faithful, and needed to have given them some form of assurance since some of their members were caught up in the violent acts, leaving many injured.
“In the face of provocation, temptation is to play to the gallery, and I consider what he said to be playing to the gallery. You have a lot of the people sitting there, and when he said what he said, they were all clapping.
“But we will forgive him, in the face of his people, he needed to say something and psyche them up, he needed to let them know that he was concerned about what was happening, so let us forgive him,” the National Peace Council Chairman said.
He has meanwhile called for calm in the country, and urged both the NDC and NPP to call their members to order and protect the peace being enjoyed in Ghana.
Prof. Emmanuel Asante also urged the police administration not to delay in bringing to book perpetrators of the shooting incident which took place in Bawaleshie during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.