A former Defence Minister, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, has said former president John Mahama would not have made his “boot-for-boot” comment if there were no boots already on the ground.
The comment by the former Minister for the Interior comes on the heels of the widely-condemned boot-for-boot statement by Mr Mahama.
While addressing NDC delegates in the Adaklu Constituency of the Volta Region on Thursday, 31 January 2019, Mr Mahama said the NDC will match the NPP boot-for-boot in the 2020 elections if the government attempts to intimidate and harass NDC supporters with violence.
The former president’s comment followed a shooting incident at the La-Bawaleshie JHS polling station in the course of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election on the same day. The NDC accused the NPP of being behind the shooting.
The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, later called on Mr Mahama to apologise to the nation for that statement
While commentators from the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) condemned Mr Mahama’s statement, members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) defended it.
But Dr Kunbuor believes Mr Mahama’s statement was preconditioned on the fact that there are existing boots on the ground, adding that if those boots were not there, there would have been no need to match them.
He told Benjamin Akakpo on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Monday, 11 February 2019 that: “People cannot get the context of some things when they are done and said, and we always jump to the conclusion… My response to such an issue is that instead of going to listen and make an analysis of what the former president said, you go back to the fundamentals.
“If there is no boot, there will be no boot-for-boot. So, don’t jump away from the fact that that statement is hinged and preconditioned on the fact that there are boots on the ground. So, I thought that we will be saying that we don’t want any boots at all to make a boot-for-boot unnecessary. That for me is a way you handle these types of things, but when you go to deal with the boot-for-boot and you don’t look for the fact that it was because there were boots that is why there is another boot that is where you lose the argument. Let’s say that we don’t need any boots at all.”