A member of the communications team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, says Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s role in governance in Ghana cannot be underestimated.
The private legal practitioner, however, insists that the King of Ashanti’s revelation that he had to persuade former President John Mahama in 2016 to concede defeat is not entirely factual.
Addressing the UN High Level Forum on Culture of Peace last Friday, Asantehene Osei Tutu II underscored the efforts by traditional authority to liaise with political leadership in ensuring peace in the country.
“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,” he said.
“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 said together with UN representatives and the diplomatic community, he had 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 speaking on TV3’s New Day on Monday, lawyer Tamakloe stopped short of calling Otumfuo’s address a lie though he said it breached the confidentiality parties might have reposed in him.
“Some of these things endanger confidentiality,” he stressed.
He said the Ghanaian culture bars youngsters from telling adults that they are wrong and he will stay to that.
But a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Ahiagbah, who was also on the show, said Otumfuo’s role could not have been swept under the carpet since “this is who we are and must be showcased to the UN”.
Mr Mahama’s Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, has challenged Otumfuo’s disclosure and said Mr Mahama conceded defeat willingly.
“I state without equivocation that the decision to concede and congratulate Nana Akufo-Addo even before the official results were declared was taken by President Mahama himself without any persuasion from any quarter.”
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana