General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia says the former president, John Dramani Mahama demonstrated better leadership in the 2016 general elections than President Akufo-Addo did in 2012.
Mr Asiedu Nketia who was speaking at a news conference organized by the NDC, Monday, argued that regardless of whether the former President conceded defeat in the 2016 elections as a result of the Ashantehene’s intervention, he showed a better understanding of democracy than the current President did in 2012.
There has been a growing national debate over some comments made by the Asantehene that he had to intervene for former President Mahama to concede defeat after the 2016 polls.
“At the conclusion of the last Presidential and Parliamentary elections the country stood on the edge of disaster. The UN Representatives and the Diplomatic community were aghast alarmed that Ghana was about to slip down the slope of electoral violence. Fortunately, the moral authority of the Palace was at hand. We were able to intervene to persuade the losing candidate to accept his fate and fly both candidates for a quiet encounter to pave way for a smooth handover” the Asantehene stated while speaking at the UN High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace at the Headquarters in New York on Friday.
But in a rebuttal, a former chief of staff under the erstwhile John Mahama administration, Julius Debrah, in a statement, Sunday, September 15, indicated that such wasn’t the case, ABC News can report.
“I state without equivocation that the decision to concede and congratulate Nana Akufo-Addo even before the official results were declared was taken by President Mahama himself without any persuasion from any quarter” Mr Debrah noted in the release from the office of the former President.
Mr Asiedu Nketia who seems nonchalant about the situation argued at the press conference that the ruling New Patriotic Party is trying to divert public attention from their failings as a government by pitting the Ashanti king against the former President and by extension, the NDC.
“Unfortunately, instead of congratulating his majesty the Otumfuor, some people have sought to quell pieces of his presentation and to put their own interpretations on those presentations in a veil attempt to create the impression that if indeed Otumfuo offered advice to his excellency president Mahama and then president Mahama took the advice into his own decision to concede the outcome of the 2016 elections then that makes President Mahama less of a democrat, I believe that these conclusions can only come out of a thinking process that is, to say the least, wrought. I don’t see why these statements contradict each other so much so that it becomes a subject of a national debate designed to divert attention from very burning issues that are on the national agenda within these past weeks” he said.
Again, the NDC General Secretary intimated that the fact that the former President conceded defeat, without the intervention of a higher power indicates his understanding and appreciation of what democracy is about, as opposed to what the current President exhibited in 2012 when he challenged the general election results in court.
“Granting without admitting that even if Otumfuo advised President Mahama and then President Mahama took that advice into consideration before conceding, the two statements have all agreed that otumfuo engaged president Mahama the sticky point is as to what point did the engagement take place and why that engagement contributed to president Mahama conceding defeat, these are the two issues that people are concerned with. If we concede that otumfuo engaged president before his concession if don’t see how that makes Mahama less of a democrat, because democracy is about listening to people, listening to opinion leaders before arriving at your decision so even if that was the case, then President Mahama has demonstrated better leadership than President Akufo-Addo in the occasion of the declaration of the results in 2012? Mr Asiedu Nketia stated at a news conference organized by the party today” he added.