Former President, John Dramani Mahama has lambasted Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo for branding him unpatriotic after showing the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election shooting video to members of the diplomatic community.
Mr. Osafo-Maafo had said the showing of videos of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election shootings to a section of the diplomatic community in Ghana, by the ex-president was unnationalistic.
The Senior Minister believes the action of the former president amounts to trading off the country to the outside world.
“This is unpatriotic and shameful. It is because if he gathered Ghanaians, call it the academia or Ghanaian professionals or Ghanaian businessmen and he talked about matters of concern to him, I’ll have no problem. He’s a former head of state and then for a very important opinion leader but to gather foreigners and try to paint Ghana black is just not acceptable, ”Mr. Osafo-Maafo said.
But Mr. Mahama in a statement issued by his spokesperson, James Agyenim-Boateng reacting to the Senior Minister’s comments, said he acted appropriately, urging Mr. Osafo-Maafo to focus on dealing with ‘thugs’ of the New Patriotic Party who purportedly carried out the violence during the by-election.
According to Mr. Mahama, “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.”
He said “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”.”
According to him, “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, he said, left scores of people injured and maimed from beatings and gunshots.
He explained that “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.”
He said apart from re-stating the commitment of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to free, fair and peaceful elections, his meeting with the diplomats 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 by-election.”
He stated “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.”
He said “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.”