A leading contender in the flag-bearership race of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Dramani Mahama, has questioned the selective conduct of some civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country, including the National Peace Council (NPC), especially on issues of national importance.
Mr Dramani Mahama has refused to apologise to Ghanaians as demanded by the Chairman of the NPC over his comment on the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election.
According to him, the NPC has asked him to apologise for the actions that took place, but “why should I apologise? Why won’t you condemn the ones who did this?” he questioned.
Rev Prof Emmanuel Asante called on former President Dramani Mahama last week to apologise to the nation following the latter’s boot-for-boot comment in the 2020 poll.
According to the NPC boss, as a former head of state he should have known better.
“If he said that, I would want to say that President Mahama, with all humility, I will plead with him to apologise to the nation. In making that statement, he has really created fear in the hearts of people and it’s not just President Mahama I will say this to, I want to say this to all our leaders, people we are looking up to in this nation; that under such circumstances one would expect that they will be the voice of wisdom, a voice that will calm tension, a voice that will help Ghanaians to be able to say: Indeed, we have leaders. So, please let’s be very careful about these things that we say,” Rev Asante said this in an interview on Class FM in Accra last week Friday which was monitored by Today.
While reacting to the alleged attack on NDC members during last week Thursday bye-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, the NDCs flag-bearer hopeful intimated: “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.”
“NDC has revolutionary rules and that when it comes to unleashing violence, nobody can beat us in unleashing violence; it is just that we midwifed Ghana’s democracy and so we must be the first to respect Ghana’s democracy and that is why we are acting as a party that is very docile and respecting the rule of law but if we believe that the government cannot protect our people…then we would have to react”.
And since then, his comments have received wide condemnation from both CSOs and the ruling NPP government.
But, Mr Dramani Mahama cannot understand why some CSOs have developed a cold attitude for commenting on many important national issues including human rights, since the inception of the Akufo-Addo government even though they were very vocal during the administration of the NDC.
Addressing NDC delegates in Anloga in the Anlo Constituency in the Volta Region as part of his campaign tour, Mr Dramani Mahama expressed misgivings about the double standards of some of the CSOs.
He, for instance, wondered why his statement that the NDC will defend the Constitution of Ghana after last Thursday’ s alleged violent attacks and gunfire on NDC members and supporters in the Ayawaso West Wuogon had attracted criticism from some leaders of CSOs.
He pointed out that Ghana belongs to all Ghanaians, adding that all sides of the political divide must be treated equally.
The former Ghanaian leader also did not spare the National Security Task Force.
He slammed the national security for failing to control the attacks.
The “hoodlums” who drove police vehicles to the polling station on that fateful day terrorised innocent civilians and they “did not do anything.
“The guys at Ayawaso West Wuogon were armed and running rampage and Ghana’s Police Service couldn’t give them orders,” former President Dramani Mahama said at a campaign event late Saturday evening.
“We will not tolerate this in Ghana,” he exclaimed. “We are for peace, but to enjoy peace, you must be vigilant,” he added.
He continued: “We won’t accept violence in this country. When the chiefs of staff are advising their people they should advise the ones who are instilling violence. Not me.”