Former President John Dramani Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama says his do-or-die comment has been twisted by his opponents.
According to him, the comment does not mean that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) members are going to resort to violence in the 2024 elections.
Speaking to delegates of the NDC in the Fanteakwa South Constituency in the Eastern Region on Wednesday, Mr Mahama said: “The 2024 general election is not a joke, that is why I said it is ‘do-or-die’. Some have twisted the do-or-die comment that we intend to inflict wounds on people with machetes, no, that is not do-or-die. Do-or-die means we have to work hard to win the elections at all cost. It doesn’t mean we are going to inflict machete wounds on people.”
Mr. Mahama explanation comes after the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had petitioned the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to arrest and prosecute him together with the National Chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah over his infamous “do-or-die” remark.
According to the NPP, Mr Mahama needs to be arrested for alleged treasonable comments he made because they were inciting political violence.
The petition has also cited the National Chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah for asking party supporters to sacrifice their lives for the victory of the NDC in the 2024 general elections
Mr. Mahama before the 2020 general elections said the NDC will face the NPP boot for boot if they attempt to intimidate them with hoodlums.
The petition authored by the National Organizer of NPP, Henry Nana Boakye, commonly known as Nana B said former President John Mahama, is on record to have said for the 2020 general elections, it’s boot for boot, and 2024 general elections it’s going to be a do-or-die affair insisting that those utterances could incite violence in the country.
It expressed fear that the remark undermines national security and the peace that Ghana is enjoying and also it undermines our democratic stability.
“I am Henry Nana Boakye, a Ghanaian citizen and the National Organizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). I write to formally petition the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service, for the arrest, investigation and prosecution of H.E. John Dramani Mahama and Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for treasonable and offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace contrary to Sections 180 and 207 of the Criminal Offenses Act, 1960 (ACT 29) respectively, and which offences are to be dealt with pursuant to Section } of the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (ACT 38),” according to the content of the petition.
The petition stressed that, the statement by the former President means that there is an unwavering resolve to use fair or foul means to procure electoral advantage regardless of the consequences.
It is recalled that when Mr. Mahama was asked during a media interview what he meant by ‘boot-for-boot’ and ‘do or die’, and whether with the benefit of hindsight, he would want to retract those incendiary comments, Mr. Mahama maintained that he meant what he said and that he was never going to retract.
“Former President John Dramani Mahama, without regard to his stature as a statesman, proudly touted across various platforms, the revolutionary root of the NDC and their unparalleled capacity when it comes to unleashing violence for political gain. Further to this, are his comments to the effect that the NDC’s approach to the elections of 2024 shall be one of “do or die” and “boot-for-boot”. Invariably, this speaks to their unwavering resolve to use fair or foul means to procure electoral advantage regardless of the consequences. When he was asked during a media interview what he meant by ‘boot-for-boot’ and ‘do or die’, and whether with the benefit of hindsight, he would want to retract those incendiary comments, John Dramani Mahama insisted that he meant what he said and that he was never going to retract,” the petition added.
On the part of Asiedu Nketiah, the petition said the National Chairman of NDC has repeatedly threatened fire and brimstone to ensure the victory of the NDC in the 2024 general elections.
“He has disclosed that the elections shall be bloody and that his party was willing and ready to sacrifice lives to ensure their victory in 2024. He is on record to have stated unequivocally during his victory speech following his election as the National Chairman of the NDC, on December 18, 2022, that, it was time for members of the NDC to continue the fight to win the second Independence of Ghana, and that, they are prepared to sacrifice everything including their lives for an NDC victory in the 2024 general elections.
“Given the influential positions that John Dramani Mahama and Johnson Asiedu Nketiah occupy, the NPP is of the firm conviction that such criminally reckless and treasonable commentary coming from them portends a great danger for the peace and stability of the State, and also have the potential of inciting their supporters to disturb the constitutional order by resorting to some unorthodox and extra-constitutional means of changing a democratically elected government.”
It is the believe of the petitioner that the treasonable and incendiary commentary by John Dramani Mahama and Johnson Asicdu Nketiah taken together, constitute a patterned conduct aimed at inciting NDC party lackeys to employ all means including violence so long as electoral victory is assured.
Additionally, the petitioner strongly stated that “It also constitutes a veiled threat to overthrow the constitutional process established for conducting general elections in the country. Indeed, we believe it was such reckless commentary coming from them that recently emboldened one of their own, the NDC Youth Organizer for Suame Constituency in the Ashanti Region to brazenly proclaim that the Youth of the NDC were willing to kill people in order to ensure an NDC victory in 2024 general elections.”
This latest petition comes a day after the NDC’s Director of Legal Affairs, Abraham Amaliba also petitioned the IGP to arrest Agric Minister, Bryan Acheampong.
In the petition dated April 11 2023, Mr Amaliba said “That Your Petitioner says that the said Hon Bryan Acheampong continued to say that they — NPP will show the NDC that the NPP have the men, and that the NPP will do everything possible — fair or foul means to remain in power come what may in the 2024 general elections. I enclose herein, audios and videos of the utterances of Hon Bryan Acheampong for your perusal.
“That in the estimation of Your Petitioner and those of the general public, the statements uttered by Hon Bryan Acheampong could be interpreted to mean that the NPP has conceived a grand scheme to subvert the will of the people of Ghana in the 2024 elections and any attempt to resist them would be met with violence.
“Your Petitioner wishes to remind you of Hon Bryan Acheampong’s unilateral and illegal deployment of NPP hoodlums garbed in National Security Operative uniforms to assault the Hon Sam Dzata George, innocent electorate and maimed some NDC supporters in the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-elections.
“Your Petitioner says that given the infamous and unenviable track record of Hon Bryan Acheampong in organising NPP hoodlums to unleash violence on Ghanaians, his statements on the 8th day of April, 2023 border on national security threats and democracy and should not be taken lightly.”
Speaking to members of the NPP in Mpraeso after a health walk on Saturday, April 8, the Abetifi MP, Bryan Acheampong had assured members of the NPP that the economy would bounce back.
According to him, the government was working to secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He expressed optimism that by June this year the deal will be closed, a situation that will lead to the resurgence of the economy.
He said “NDC party will collapse. If the NDC dares to use threats, violence and foolishness in the 2024 election we will let them know we have the men. We will show them that we have the men. We have the men.
“It will never happen that we the NPP will stand on a platform to hand over power to the NDC. It will never happen! We will make sure NPP remain in government at all cost”.
The former Minister of State in Charge of National Security added “Now with the way things are changing the economy will bounce back again, I am telling you that we are going to come around that curve and we are going to win the 2024 elections hands down.”
By Vincent Kubi