The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, (NDC), has categorically denied media reports attributed to him that “should the New Patriotic Party (NPP) win the 2008 general election and the NDC loses, Ghana will burn”.
“I am a responsible and mature person and will never make any hollow statement as some newspapers and radio stations in the country are alleging,” he said.
“What I said and would repeat here is that, should the leadership of the NPP conduct themselves in the same way as they did in 2004 by arrogating to themselves the constitutional powers of the Electoral Commission (EC) to announce results for the 2008 elections as they did in 2004, then it would be a recipe for chaos and confusion in the country.”
Mr Daniel Ohene Agyekum said that “but for the maturity and peaceful nature of our flag bearer who acted in accordance with the trust that international leaders had in him, there would have been confusion in 2004”.
“This is a statement that people in all political divide in the country should appreciate and support, because we have all contributed to the present stability in the country and would not allow any individual or political party in Ghana to create any situation that would plunge the country into political turmoil and instability,” he stressed.
Mr Ohene Agyekum was reacting to media reports and editorial comments of this paper on what he was reported to have said, which sought to mean that if the NPP retained power and the NDC lost, the country would burn.
This was speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi.
He said they were able to tolerate the NPP in 2004, “but will certainly not be a second fool in 2008 if the leadership of the NPP repeated what they did”.
Recalling the events that took place prior to the official declaration of results by the EC in the 2004 elections, Mr Ohene Agyekum recalled that “four clear hours before the final collation of the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections, and as some political parties were waiting for the EC to make a public announcement on the final outcome of the elections, the ruling NPP, sat in judgement and issued a statement through Messrs Obetsebei-Lamptey and Kwamena Bartels to the effect that by their calculations, the NPP had won the elections”.
He questioned what would have happened if the other political parties had also gone ahead to announce their results of the elections.
The NDC regional chairman said at that time, supporters of the NPP, NDC, PNC and CPP would have been in the streets and the scenario would not have been pleasant, because there would have been clashes throughout the country and this would have set the country ablaze.
“This is what I said and I repeat that if the NPP leadership attempts to repeat that, then it would create instability and confusion in the country to derail the gains we have made over the years.”
Mr Ohene Agyekum stressed that he was neither a war monger nor a prophet of doom and did not wish Ghana to burn, but the future of this country did not rest on the NPP leadership alone.
“We all have a shared responsibility to protect and defend the integrity of the constitution for the sake of future generations,” he said, adding “I am deeply concerned about the way the NPP arrogated to themselves the authority of the EC to announce publicly the results of the 2004 election”.
“These are some of the issues that cause mayhem and political turmoil in other parts of Africa and beyond, and I do not wish that this happens in the only country we have on this planet,” he further stated.
Mr Ohene Agyekum said having enjoyed political stability for some time, and charting a democratic course in Africa, which was not only the envy of neighbouring countries, but had also won international recognition, the need to ensure that the democratic course blossomed and yielded positive results was a shared responsibility.
“There has been a long spell of peace and stability, so it is not my intention and wish that this spell of peace and stability should be interrupted by any act of violence, so I would like our friends and colleagues on the other part of the political divide to appreciate the value of my statement rather than hurl insults at me,” he declared.
Story by George Ernest Asare