Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr believes there is nothing inflammatory with former President John Dramani Mahama's infamous "boot-for-boot" comment.
To him, the remarks passed last week which some Ghanaians considered as incendiary, are nothing more than a note of caution to those who needlessly foment trouble and expect to be applauded.
“Now, there is also a lot of noise about what former President John Mahama said “boot for boot”. What does it mean? It means that if you beat me, I will beat you back. So if you don’t want to be booted back, don’t boot, that’s all”, he explained on Radio Gold’s "Alhaji and Alhaji" talk show.
Explaining further, the veteran Journalist, as if reading the mind of the ex-president added; “I am saying that if you slap me, I will also slap you back and then you say, hey! You are violent?"
“Why do you want to slap me and why do you want me to turn the other cheek, am I Jesus the Christ? I am not; I am a human being. He says, don’t boot me, we all want peace, so don’t boot me; if you don’t boot me, me too I no go boot you, there will be peace and everybody will be happy. Then you say no, I will boot you but when I boot you, don’t boot me back; eeei! What is this?” Kwesi Pratt stated with an element of surprise in his voice.
The former President, a couple of weeks ago, sounded a word of caution to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) advising them to desist from attacking members of the opposition National Democratic (NDC) else they’d be forced to show their true colours.
According to him, the NDC will match the NPP boot for boot in the 2020 general elections, if the ruling party continues to intimidate NDC members with hoodlums and vigilante groups.
“We are not going to joke in 2020 and I’m sounding a warning to the NPP – we are going to match them boot for boot,” he said in reaction to the alleged attack on NDC members during the by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency when he met with NDC supporters and delegates as part of his campaign tour of the Volta Region.
Mr. Mahama further pointed out that the fact that the NDC has been docile in the wake of unprovoked attacks on them by NPP vigilante groups, does not mean they are powerless but have adopted such nature because they respect the constitution and the rule of law.
“I want to sound a caution that NDC has a revolutionary root and when it comes to unleashing violence no one can beat us to that. It is just that we midwife this country’s democracy and that is why we must be the first to respect it. That is why we are acting like a party that is docile and respecting the rule of law. But if we believe that the government cannot protect our people and we believe that the government is using its vigilante groups and illegal forces to intimidate and harass and injure our people, then we may have to advise ourselves,” he added.
What Nonsense Is This?
Analyzing the former President's comments, Kwesi Pratt questions the logic in the reasoning of those who want to portray Mr Mahama as a violent person because he warned of retaliatory attacks; when he (Mahama) is not or will not be the initiator of the "boot".
“The man is not saying that I am going to boot you; he says, don’t boot me, if you boot me, I will boot you back and you say no; I will boot you but when I boot you, don’t boot me back or... if you threaten that when I boot you, you will boot me back then you are a violent man. What nonsense is that?” he asked.
Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr further warned that Ghanaians are living in dangerous times as principles have been thrown to the dogs and violence is becoming the weapon of choice of those in authority.
“We are living in very dangerous times; we are living in times that principles have fled away. We are living in times when violence is becoming the weapon of choice of those we have mandated to look over our affairs and I am frightened about this looming danger”, Kwesi Pratt stated.