Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
Former President John Mahama has accused the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, of telling lies regarding the 2016 Presidential election.
The Asantehene is reported to have recently said that he had to intervene in 2016 for Mr. Mahama, then incumbent, to concede defeat to then opposition candidate, President Nana Akufo-Addo.
The Asante king accordingly made the claim at the UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace.
But Mr. Mahama’s former Chief of Staff and aide, Julius Debrah, in statement reacting to Otumfuo’s claim, said “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,” an apparent suggestion that the powerful Asante King lied to the global community openly.
The statement was issued on Mahama’s campaign letterhead
“As former Chief of Staff to President Mahama, I was associated closely with all the pre, during and post 2016 poll events,” the statement said.
It added that “it is public knowledge that President Mahama willingly announced his decision to accept the outcome of the 2016 elections and congratulate Nana Akufo-Addo even before the official results were formally declared by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.”
On the day President Mahama willingly conceded defeat, the statement pointed out that, he met with then Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah- Arthur, NDC Chairman Kofi Portuphy, General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia, together with some high ranking members of the party and informed them of his decision to call and congratulate Nana Akufo-Addo.
Following the meeting with the party, it explained, he called a number of personalities including former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, National Chief Imam Sheikh Nuhu Sharubutu, Rev. Ernest Agyei of the Ringway Assemblies of God Church and Archbishop Duncan Williams.
As Otumfuo himself has already stated publicly, under his auspices, there were three meetings held in Kumasi between President Mahama and then Candidate/President-Elect Nana Akufo-Addo during the period, it said.
The first was prior to the December 7 election in which the two candidates promised to play fair and respect the will of the people, according to the statement.
“Indeed, President Mahama in a conversation with Nana Akufo-Addo said he hoped Nana was not going to tie down the nation in a court case again after the 2016 elections,” it said.
“The other two meetings took place after the official declaration of the results of the elections, and to re-emphasise, after President Mahama had publicly conceded and congratulated Nana Akufo-Addo. Those two meetings focused on matters arising out of the transition process.”
The statement indicated that “President Mahama made a commitment to the people of Ghana, never to be the one to subject them to the periods of unease, political instability and the doubts they experienced after the 2008 and 2012 elections. He remained true to that commitment and exemplified it after the 2016 elections.”
The Asantehene, it said, has over the years been a very respected interlocutor in Ghana’s multi-party political engagements.
It added that “he has been generous in his wise counsel to present and former Presidents.”
BY Melvin Tarlue