Former President John Mahama has moved to clarify a statement from his office denying he was persuaded by the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to concede defeat in the 2016 elections.
Mahama says the statement from his office was to clarify issues and not to “disparage Otumfuo’s efforts at promoting national peace and unity.”
“Clearly, Mr. Julius Debrah’s statement was intended to simply clarify that I never had the slightest intention of seeking to hang on to power unconstitutionally, as some media houses sought to infer from Otumfuo’s speech at the UN,” the former President said in a statement posted on his Facebook wall on Saturday.
He condemned the seeming wrong impression being created by a section of the public following Mr. Debrah’s statement.
Below is the post
“The recent statement from my office was meant to shed more light on the events surrounding the 2016 poll and not to disparage Otumfuo’s efforts at promoting national peace and unity. I therefore find the language and commentary in the ensuing public discourse very disturbing.
Clearly Mr. Julius Debrah’s statement was intended to simply clarify that I never had the slightest intention of seeking to hang on to power unconstitutionally, as some media houses sought to infer from Otumfuo’s speech at the UN.
I have profound respect for Otumfuo and Asanteman and will not allow this issue to mar our long standing cordial relationship. On Otumfuo’s return home, we will take the necessary steps to bring closure to this matter. In the meantime, I urge the general public and party members not to be baited into non-constructive flogging of this issue.”
It will be recalled that the Asantehene said last week at the UN High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, at the Headquarters in New York, that he intervened in the 2016 election to persuade then President John Mahama to accept defeat.
According to the the Asante monarch, the diplomatic community were worried Ghana might slip down the slope of electoral violence hence the intervention of Manhyia.
He was speaking at the UN High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace at the Headquarters in New York on Friday.
He said: “I’m proud that in a quiet and informal way we in Ghana are showing the benefits of the traditional and contemporary cohesion in governance.
“Apart from the constitutional arrangement for a National House of Chiefs, the respect for traditional authority has created a layer of moral authority that can be mobilized in times of crisis. On occasions where the political temperature has been on the verge of boiling over it has been possible to bring the combatants into a quiet conclave to cool down passions and restore calm.”
He continued: “At the conclusion of the last Presidential and Parliamentary elections the country stood on the edge of disaster. The UN Representatives and the Diplomatic community were aghast alarmed that Ghana was about to slip down the slope of electoral violence.
“Fortunately, the moral authority of the Palace was at hand. We were able to intervene to persuade the losing candidate to accept his fate and fly both candidates for a quiet encounter to pave way for a smooth handover.”
But the Asantehene’s recollection of event was refuted by Mahama’s former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah.