After denying the audio recording suspected to be the voice of the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, former President Mahama, flagbearer of the party, has unofficially come out to confirm the authenticity of the controversial audio.
At a thanksgiving church service, which was attended by all the presidential hopefuls who contested him in the recent presidential primary at the Perez Church in Accra on Sunday, Mr. Mahama, as we reported yesterday, did not directly mention tape or audio, but made references to the alleged comment made his Chairman on the leaked recording, which is being described as having been doctored.
“If you had condemned the violence and commented on what the former president said, that would have been acceptable. So, in the circumstances, of course, for our Chairman (Ofosu-Ampofo), who had witnessed the violence, the guy whose leg was shot, the bone has shattered and the bone fragments were lying on the ground. Anybody who saw it will be traumatised. And so, if a few days after, he was talking (leaked tape) and he says, we should attack him, he didn’t mean we should go and beat the Peace Council Chairman, it meant that we should criticise him.” Mr Mahama was quoted as saying this at the said thanksgiving service in obvious reference to Professor Emmanuel Asante.
If former President Mahama had listened to the audio recording carefully, he would have noticed that his National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, was not calling for the criticism of the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof. Emmanuel Asante, but outright insulting of the man. As the NDC flagbearer himself admitted, Prof Asante did not walk to any radio station to condemn his ‘boot-for-boot’ comment he (Mahama) made immediately after the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election. It was rather the radio station that called the prelate on a different subject and then chipped in the ‘boot-for-boot’ call and asked him (Asante) to comment on it.
In answering the question, Prof Asante used a conditional phrase – if is it is true that the former president made the comment – then it is regrettable. We believe if the interviewer had asked the same question about the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, he would have responded with the same answer. The Chronicle is, therefore, surprised that Mahama, of all people, would use this as a yardstick to justify intended verbal attacks on the peace loving man.
In accepting to become the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof Emmanuel Asante obviously knew that he would one day be subjected to political attacks. What he did not know is the making of a mountain out of a mole hill. The same Professor Asante became the subject of verbal attacks when he rushed to the Press Centre in Accra around midnight on December 7, 2016 to condemn the press conference held earlier by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that they had already won the election, and that the NDC and then President Mahama should concede defeat.
At the time, not even a fly, including mosquitoes, came out from the NDC to condemn the Peace Council Chairman for the action he took. NDC leaders kept mute over the issue when their NPP opponents were bashing the man left and right, because the action he took inured to their benefit at the time. But when the same Professor Asante condemns actions of the NDC this time round, leaders of the opposition party have declared him persona non grata.
This is an unfortunate development that we, as a country, must find solution to it. Professor Emmanuel Asante is a human and political being, but he has so far not declared his public support for any of the two leading parties – NDC and NPP. If this is true, then why try to castigate him for a crime he has not committed? After practicing democracy without military intervention for close to 27 years, it is time we respected constitutionally-created institutions and leaders heading these institutions.
We are saying this because, if care is not taken, a time would come when nobody would be prepared to serve the country. Is this that we want as a country? The answer is obviously no!