Former President John Dramani Mahama has expressed worry about the commentary his office’s statement on the UN address by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II generated.
According to him, the statement only sought to “shed more light on the events surrounding the 2016 poll and not to disparage Otumfuo’s efforts at promoting national peace and unity”.
After the Asantehene addressed the UN High Level Forum on Culture of Peace on Friday, September 13, former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah issued a statement to insist that the former president conceded defeat willingly without any persuasion.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II had told the Forum that but for his intervention to persuade the losing candidate in the 2016 elections to concede defeat, Ghana would have been plunged into electoral violence.
But Mr Mahama himself wrote on Facebook on Saturday that Mr Debrah’s statement was intended to clarify that he indeed gave up power willingly.
“I therefore find the language and commentary in the ensuing public discourse very disturbing,” he stated, indicating as well that he had not the slightest intention “of seeking to hang on to power unconstitutionally”.
His predecessor Jerry John Rawlings has also expressed misgivings about the commentary that has ensued.
He called it “unwarranted and unnecessary”.
Former President Mahama says he has profound respect for the Asantehene and “will not allow this issue to mar our long standing cordial relationship”.
He has promised to meet Otumfuo Osei Tutu II on his return from the UN headquarters in order for steps to be taken “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.”