I didn’t err by meeting diplomats – Mahama

Former president John Mahama “acted fairly and appropriately” by meeting with diplomats over the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, his spokesperson said.

James Agyenim Boateng said the move was “a pre-emptive step to galvanise public support to save Ghana from the looming catastrophe fueled by the NPP and its thugs ahead of the 2020 elections.”

Senior minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo has criticized Mahama for reaching out to the international community and showing videos of the violence scenes to the foreign missions.

“It is shameful and hypocritical on the part of Mr Osafo-Maafo that he had the temerity to describe Mr Mahama’s meeting with diplomats the way he did, especially when the Senior Minister still serves in the Akufo-Addo government under whose watch state-sponsored goons with weapons and Police SWAT Hunter Vehicles were unleashed on voters.

“For the avoidance of doubt, former President Mahama acted fairly and appropriately by taking a pre-emptive step to galvanise public support to save Ghana from the looming catastrophe fueled by the NPP and its thugs ahead of the 2020 elections. Apart from re-stating the commitment of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to free, fair and peaceful elections, Mr Mahama’s meeting merely shared information that was already in the public domain,” Boateng said in a statement.

Below is the full statement:

MAHAMA ACTED APPROPRIATELY BY MEETING WITH DIPLOMATS

My attention has been drawn to online publications of the reaction of Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo to a meeting held between former President John Dramani Mahama and members of the Diplomatic Corps, following state-sponsored brutalities unleashed on lawabiding citizens during the recent Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in Accra.

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It is shameful and hypocritical on the part of Mr Osafo-Maafo that he had the temerity to describe Mr Mahama’s meeting with diplomats the way he did, especially when the Senior Minister still serves in the Akufo-Addo government under whose watch state-sponsored goons with weapons and Police SWAT Hunter Vehicles were unleashed on voters.

Interestingly, when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of which Mr Osafo-Maafo is a member, conducted itself at a 21st century by-election as though it was engaged in a 16th century conquest, the Senior Minister did not find that “unpatriotic and shameful”.

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Even more worrying is the claim from key government functionaries that the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election “remains the most peaceful by-election on record”. The dastardly acts of the pro-government hoodlums left scores of people injured and maimed from beatings and gunshots.

For the avoidance of doubt, former President Mahama acted fairly and appropriately by taking a pre-emptive step to galvanise public support to save Ghana from the looming catastrophe fueled by the NPP and its thugs ahead of the 2020 elections. Apart from re-stating the commitment of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to free, fair and peaceful elections, Mr Mahama’s meeting merely shared information that was already in the public domain.

If that was “unpatriotic and shameful” as Mr Osafo-Maafo put it, then he must lay the blame squarely at the doorstep of those who sponsored the NPP thuggery on the day of the byelection. It must also be pointed out that it is not unusual for government, opposition and other key opinion leaders to routinely brief stakeholders, including the international community, on major developments in the country. Indeed, this practice is not alien to the NPP.

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Instead of Mr Osafo-Maafo and his cohorts worrying their heads over who is being briefed, they should concentrate on arresting the perpetrators of the mayhem and bringing them to justice.