There is No Similarity Between Do or Die and All Die Be Die

September 14, 2021 By 0 Comments

I do not believe how well learned and knowledgeable people could attribute the idiom, All-Die-Be-Die, as one which promotes violence and lawlessness.

Recalling what the great man, H.E. President J. A. Kufuor said on this idiomatic expression on Hot FM on Wednesday June 29, 2011, I reproduce the article which appeared on Peace FM’s political page on June 29, 2011 which was sourced from Citifmonline.com. Acknowledging all my sources, I hereby quote:

“Ex-President Kufuor Justifies All Die Be Die Slogan 29-Jun-2011: Former President Kufuor has for the first time defended and sought to explain and clarify his party flagbearer’s all-die-be-die slogan which snowballed into a huge political controversy and generated intense media discussion a few months back.
Mr.Kufuor told Hot FM, an Accra based radio station on Wednesday June 29 that the slogan used by Nana Akufo-Addo in Koforidua, was gravely distorted and misconstrued as a call to violence.
Speaking in his native Akan dialect, the Former President said the phrase was nowhere near an incitement to violence as has been explained by political opponents probably to score cheap political points.
The Former President explained that the slogan was meant to merely demonstrate how, in Nana Akufo-Addo’s view, perceived weaklings could, on the spur of the moment, block up all consequences and muster courage to face and confront their assailants squarely out of frustrations of being persistently bullied.
All die be die is an instantaneously courageous revolt against bullies by perceived weaklings who may have gotten to their wits end as a result of having suffered perennial bullying at the hands of bullies. I think that should be a normal human practice. We cannot allow any one person to hold us eternally hostage when that person doesn’t even have our welfare at heart. They must be made to know their limit. It is important that Ghanaians clearly understand what the slogan all die be die means Mr. Kufuor said.
In the early days of the all-die-be-die controversy, Mr Kufuor deferred media comments on the matter to Nana Addo when he was mobbed by Journalists for his views, after he had come out of a meeting with President Mills that discussed issues to deal with heightened tension in the country at the time.
Some political pundits said former President Kufuor’s posture at that instant indicated that he disagreed with the use of that slogan by Nana AkufoAddo. Others argued to the contrary.”
Source: citifmonline.com” Unquote.

When I hear people condemn H.E. President Nana Akufo-Addo for saying All-Die-Be-Die but will not mention any of the brutalities visited on the humble people of Akyem’s Atiwa Constituency on August 31, 2010 by NDC thugs who were shipped in from Northern Ghana, I believe they believe in injustice.

These thugs were protected and escorted around by well-armed Ghana Police, while they themselves were also armed to the teeth with clubs, hockey sticks, machetes, bike chains and anything that can possibly kill any human being.

The intention of the then NDC government led by Asomdweehene, was to win the by-election in a do or die manner and brought in the thugs to torture, harass and intimidate the rather calm natured people of Atiwa and cowed them into submission. Their agenda was to steal ballot boxes and swapped them.

When the youth got wind of this evil agenda, they decided to sit around the ballot boxes at the polling stations. This did not go down well with NDC’s Anita de Sossoo who made her driver to drive her SUV into the youth, maiming some.

This sparked off a reaction from the youth who had wanted to deal with Anita de Sossoo but she managed to escape to safety outside the constituency.

The youth took it into account that they were in their homes and towns moving around peacefully as usual only for some thugs to descend upon them and beat the living daylight out of them without any provocation. They decided that death is at their doorsteps and they were not going to just sit there and be killed; they were going to face death and even die in the act. With bare hands, they attacked the invaders who fled into the bushes with their weapons still clutched in their hands. The Police quickly followed suit to make sure no harm came to them.

So it came that Nana Addo went to commend the youth for adopting the All-Die-Be-Die mantra to free themselves and their land from the NDC thugs. All-Die-Be-Die is a wake-up call which inspires people to rightly fight for the rights and free themselves from adversary situations and Ghana has a long history of this.

If it had not been for the spirit of All-Die-Be-Die, the Asantes would not have stood up against the might of the British force and establish themselves as a state that abhorred colonialism; if it had not been for the spirit of All-Die-Be-Die, Sgt Adjetey, Cpl Attipoe and Private OdarteyLamptey, would not have embarked upon that February 28, 1948 march to the seat of government to demand their rights but got murdered on the way; as a result of the above and if it had not been for the spirit of All-Die-Be-Die, the Osu Alata Mantse Nii Kwabena Bonney would not have been able to organise a boycott of goods and services of expatriates and a riot which led to the gradual weakening of colonialism in the country. Ghana’s path to independence would not have been cemented if the spirit of All-Die-Be-Die had not formed the minds of Kwame Nkrumah and the founding fathers to challenge powerful Britain and eventually get us our independence.

On August 30, 2010, Atiwa was “colonised” by NDC led thugs who were escorted and protected by Ghana Police to terrorise the lives of the peace loving people, there. They were butchered, clubbed down, whipped with sticks and chains, slapped and finally crushed by a vehicle and the same spirit of All-Die-Be-Die which inspired us to achieve independence status, got into these peace loving people of Atiwa to stand up against the intruders with bare hands and free their land. By the way, we also gained independence from the British with bare hands, conquering a well-armed regime and Atiwa did the same.

If we accept what All-Die-Be-Die did for us and celebrate it, why do we criticise what this same All-Die-Be-Die did for the people of Atiwa on August 30, 2010? What is even mischievous is the way critics of Nana Addo’s comment, shy away from what led to the uprising of the youth of Atiwa but celebrate events that led to our independence. Or is this another ethnocentric idea that as for Akans, they could even be killed for all we care but they should never rise up to fight for their lives?

Modern Ghana news reported that “in an interview on Techiman-based Akina 100.9 FM in the Bono Region on Monday, September 6, 2021, as part of his “Thank You Tour”, former president Mahama was heard stating inter alia that, it will be a “DO or DIE” affair at the various polling stations in the 2024 parliamentary and presidential elections.”

The former president was later heard during an interview on Moonlite FM in Sunyani on Wednesday September 8, 2021, saying that “Do or Die” is a harmless English idiomatic expression which means “a critical assignment you have and you must do the needful or perish.” He earlier said those who dropped out of school do not understand that expression. What a WOW!

Unfortunately for us All-Die-Be-Die is not an English idiomatic expression so we cannot find its meaning in the English books of idiomatic expressions. But of course, why should it be accepted in those books if it was something that inspired us to break out of English colonial rule?

With “Do or Die,” this is what the English people say it means: i) reflecting or characterized by an irrevocable decision to succeed at all costs; ii) it is said when you are in a situation in which you must take a big risk in order to avoid failure; iii) involving a determined and sometimes reckless effort to succeed; iv) reflecting or characterized by an irrevocable decision to succeed at all costs and v) a situation that is extremely important, and failure would result in a big problem.

Three things should spark warnings in the minds of sane and peace loving Ghanaians in the meaning of “Do or Die” and they are 1) to succeed at all costs; 2) take a big risk in order to avoid failure and 3) failure would result in a big problem.

To succeed at all cost even when the people are rejecting you could mean, employing unacceptable means to usurp victory. To take a big risk to avoid failure in the event that majority of the people reject you, is scary here. What big risk than to arm the youth to cause mayhem at the polling stations; and accepting that failure would result in a big problem would mean to reject the results at the polling stations and reverse them in one’s favour by whatever means and that would only be possible by employing violence and mayhem.

The silly analogy that Mahama’s Do or Die clarion call and AkufoAddo’s All-Die-Be-Die are one and the same, is utterly nonsense. One thing while AkufoAddo’s pronouncement means to be vigilant and use peaceful alternative means to get what rightfully belongs to you as our founding fathers did and gained us independence, Mahama’s Do or Die, as the meanings of this idiomatic expression say, is inspiring his supporters to take up arms during the polls and create mayhem and violence when the ballot rejects the NDC.

NDC and its predecessors are known for introducing violence in our body politics where violence is not warranted at all. During the 1992 and 1996 electioneering campaign some leading members of the NDC could go to some communities and warn them that if they do not vote for the NDC, they will be bombed; during the Akwatia by-elections in August 2009, the NDC created violence and mayhem resulting in serious injuries to over twenty people including NPP’s Nana OheneNtow and Dan Botwe; during Chereponi by-election in September 2009, the then NDC MP for Gushegu, Thomas KwesiNasah was alleged to have opened fire on NPP supporters, killing four and leaving several others with serious gunshot wounds, these and some others including the Atiwa violent acts of the NDC confirm what that party stands for. And now that it is inspired to “Do or Die,” Ghanaians should expect the worst.