The former finance minister Kwabena Duffuor, who is expected to announce his bid to become the 2024 presidential candidate of the New Democratic Congress, has thrown his first jab at the main contender, John Dramani Mahama.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Dr Duffuor added his voice to those condemning threats and incitement to violence in Ghanaian politics.
Taking an indirect but clear swipe at the former president John Mahama, Dr Duffuor said harsh words and violence cannot cure hunger and poverty.
“This is the time for peace and co-operation, not for violence and divisiveness. Leadership is not about ego or even Election Day, but putting the health, prosperity and safety of Ghanaians first every single day, all year round,” Duffuor’s post said.
“Our children are hungry, our people are hurting, let’s not resort to conflict but come together for the betterment of all. When the country wins, its leader wins, and the success of the weakest among us should be the only priority for the strongest among us,” he added.
In what appeared to be a direct and emphatic signalling of his displeasure with Mahama’s comments, Duffuor wrote: “This cannot be achieved through harsh words, violence or politicking, but through peace, humility and hard work. In these times of great uncertainty, it is important to remember that words matter and carry great weight!
“May we all put Ghana first, and remember that party colours will never trump the unity of red, yellow and green,” the chairman of HODA Holdings admonished.
Mahama, after his initial commentary on Akina FM in Techiman, has said that despite the huge public backlash against his statements, he still stands his comment that Election 2024 will be a “do-or-die” affair at the polling station.
“The election will be won or lost at the polling station, so at the polling station it will be ‘do or die’. I did not say ‘All die be die’, I said it will be do or die, because the right thing must be done,” Mahama said on Tuesday, provoking many reactions calling on him to retract.
However, speaking on the Sunyani-based radio station Moonlite FM on Wednesday 8 September 2021, the 2020 NDC flagbearer said the remarks had been taken out of context and that he would not retract his comments.
“They don’t understand ‘do or die’. ‘Do or die’ is an English idiom,” Mahama explained. “In Africa, we have many proverbs and we sometimes don’t say things in the straight format: we use proverbs. In English, we have idiomatic expressions.
“Those who left school early don’t understand idiomatic expressions. ‘Do or die’ means a critical assignment you have, and so you must do the needful or perish.”
He added: “What I mean is that the NDC should not wait and go back to the Supreme Court. Whatever has to be done at the polling stations and collation centres must be done. And so I don’t retract: the next election for NDC is going to be a do-or-die affair.
“I’m telling all our party executives that you must be at the polling station to make sure that the right thing is done”.
“Don’t abdicate your responsibility at that level and expect that after somebody has stolen the election we’ll go to Supreme Court to see if they would turn the election for us. They won’t do it.”
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