The Western Regional Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Charles Bissue, has advised the former president John Mahama to retract and apologize for “inciting” Ghanaians ahead of the 2024 elections.
The defeated presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 elections has been randomly condemned by Ghanaians for saying Election 2024 will be a “do or die” affair at the polling stations.
“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 doing or die because the right thing must be done,” Mahama said on Tuesday, provoking many reactions calling on him to retract.
However, Bissue said such comments should not be coming from a statesman who “has been at the helm of our political affairs before.”
Describing Mahama’s comment as “reckless”, Bissue said: “He needs to come back and apologize to Ghanaians. If he hadn’t been a former president then he would be forgiven.”
“But he’s been at the helm of our political affairs before and you now see his people associating it with the coup that happened in Guinea. It’s not right for him to say that. Whatever he says carries weight,” Bissue said on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Friday 10 September 2021.
Speaking on the same show, Justice Abdulai, a Private legal practitioner and law lecturer, UPSA concurred with Bissue, adding “it’s an insult to the sensibilities of Ghanaians.”
“It’s the most reckless comment I’ve ever heard coming from the former president, John Mahama. All the other comments and attempts by his party executives make it even more laughable. I think the former president should rethink his decision and calling it an idiomatic expression.
“He should retract and apologize to all Ghanaians. We understand exactly what it means. He should admit that what he said was wrong, the further explanation rather makes matters worse for all of us. We should not at this point in our lives be pushing for such reckless comments. We should be making developmental comments,” he said.
“I won’t apologize”
Meanwhile, Mahama has said that, despite the huge public backlash, he still stands by his comment that Election 2024 will be a “do-or-die” affair at the polling station.
“… 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 centers 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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