Former President John Mahama has cautioned President Nana Akufo-Addo to stay clear of violence and avoid being tempted to unleash violence to intimidate electorates during the December 2020 general elections.
In a pre-recorded New Year message Tuesday, Mahama stated that the President has a duty to secure the safety of the people, particularly as the country readies to elect a president and members of parliament.
He said the violence that characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in 2018 should not be repeated during election 2020.
“As we go to the polls in 2020, President Akufo-Addo has a responsibility to secure the safety of all citizens and must resist the temptation to allow the use of violence to harm and intimidate innocent civilians as we observed last year during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election,” he advised.
The world, he said, will have its eyes fixed on Ghana due to the December elections for which reason Ghanaians must work to prove that the country is a peaceful one.
Mahama who is seeking a comeback on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress said he is up for peace and urged Nana Akufo-Addo who will also be seeking a second term in the elections to stand for peace during the polls.
“On my part, I’ll continue to work for peace and I urge the president to do the same,” he declared.
He said as a sign of good faith, President Akufo-Addo should ensure that the perpetrators of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence are brought to justice.
“As a first step, I suggest he [Nana Akufo-Addo] stop shielding the perpetrators of the violence at the Ayawaso West Wuogon. He must have them face the appropriate sanctions,” he stated.
Ghana, the former president said, will expect the highest standards from the Electoral Commission in the 2020 general elections.
According to him, “the 2020 election will be a pivotal event for our country”.
That, he explained, will be because “it is one that will determine the destiny of our nation”
Mahama said Ghanaians at this point of the nation’s development, “deserve more than ever, a government that is honest and truthful with them, a government that takes responsibility and give them results not excuses or blame, government that opens opportunities of our country to all its people and not just a few”.
“2019 benefited a few”
According to Mahama says last year was a difficult one for Ghanaians and businesses in the country as majority of the people had to experience pain and anguish as well as unfulfilled promises.
“Within the last 365 days, there has been joy, happiness and fulfilled dreams for a few but there have been pain, anguish and unfulfilled promises for the majority of us,” he said in his New Year message to Ghanaians.
He however said underscored the need for Ghanaians to be thankful to God because in the midst of the difficulty, they have life, which he described as “the most valuable gift”.
The collapse of businesses, he observed, had ripple effect on a lot of things including quality of life in people’s home.
Mr Mahama who is the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress claimed business owners are now in despair because their businesses are collapsing.
“2019 was a difficult year for Ghanaian businesses and by extension it affected the quality of life in many Ghanaian homes. In my rounds, I’ve met many business persons who are despair that their enterprises are collapsing and that they can no longer hold things together,” he stated.
Despite the difficult time, he said it was important for everyone to have hope and keep it alive, stating “we can change things and make our nation better”.
Quoting from one of Prof Kofi Awoonor’s writings, Mr Mahama underscored the need for Ghanaians to hold on to hope, saying “let us hope and work for a prosperous Ghana in 2020 and beyond, let us hope and work for a peaceful Ghana that offers opportunities for all of us and not just a few”