Politics of Thursday, 5 July 2012
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) said it has taken notice of yet another needless and reckless justification of the call to violence by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Election 2012 Presidential Aspirant, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in the build up to the polls.
A statement signed by Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, NDC General Secretary copied to Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday said, “At a time when well-meaning Ghanaians including religious leaders have roundly condemned his 'all die be die' mantra, and called for the use of measured and non-violent language, one would have thought that Nana Addo would yield to the overwhelming public opinion by not only retracting and apologizing for the unfortunate statement but also offer the required leadership to his party by guarding his subsequent statements and rein in adherents of his call to violence.”
It said on the contrary, in his latest pronouncement during a recent visit to Wa in the Upper West Region, Nana Akufo-Addo sought to justify his violent rhetoric by accusing Ghanaians, including religious leaders, who have questioned his commitment to peace, of hypocrisy and double standards.
The statement said at the same function, he repeated his call on the youth of his party to resort to violence as a way of addressing perceived electoral grievances in December.
It said, “This obstinate posture has emboldened other functionaries of the NPP, who have in turn made equally incendiary statements in the run up to the elections.”
The statement said it was clear that Nana Akufo-Addo’s belief in the use of violence for the attainment of political ends has rendered him bereft of the requisite moral authority to condemn, restrain or sanction his party functionaries who conduct themselves in this way.
It said, “The NDC wishes to remind Nana Akufo-Addo of his responsibility as the leader of NPP to conduct himself in a manner that does not undermine the peace and stability of the nation.
“Beyond the needless tension that such unguarded utterances generate within the body politic lies the larger question of the sort of image that such conduct carves for Ghana on the international scene.”
The statement said, at a time when Ghana has won international acclamation for its exemplary democratic path and the giant economic strides it has made over the last few years, it was regrettable that Nana Akufo-Addo consistently acted in a manner that sought to project Ghana as unstable and violent-prone in the eyes of unsuspecting external observers.
It said, Nana Akufo-Addo’s recent incitement and violent pronouncements had brought him to the notice of such international institutions as the US-based think tank, The Centre for Strategic and International Studies, which had singled him out in a June 2011 report as a Ghanaian politician whose utterances posed a threat to the peace and security of the country.
The statement said the report noted on pages 16 that “The role of the NPP leader and expected Presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, will be crucial and early signals suggest reason for worry. Akufo-Addo is desperate to mobilize support and he has played the ethnic card, referring to the NPP as ‘we the Akans’, urging his supporters to ‘all die be die’ – that is they should be willing to die to ensure the NPP’s victory’’.
It said, “the NDC, however, wishes to assure the public that it is committed to upholding and maintaining the peace and stability of the country before, during and after the General Election.”**