The main opposition New Patriotic Party is indeed divided, President John Mahama has said.
Defending his accusation of the party’s flag bearer Nana Akufo-Addo as a “divisive dictator”, Mr Mahama, who is running for a second term on the ticket of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) told Paul Adom-Otchere on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme on Tuesday, 6 September that “of course NPP is divided.”
“For four years he [Akufo-Addo] has described me as incompetent, for four years he has described me as visionless, for four years he has described me as a thief. He says when he comes to power he won’t steal your money. What does that mean? It means I am stealing Ghanaians’ money.
“I’m a politician and I know it’s an occupational hazard; sometimes to have your opponents vilify you, so, I don’t take it as anything… I am campaigning and I am saying that we need at this stage of Ghana’s history somebody who can bring the country together and my opponent’s track record does not fit that role because in his own party, he is not able to bring his people together.
“Today, it is the truth, people can’t criticise Akufo-Addo in NPP, if you criticise him, they will suspend you or sack you or his attack dogs will set on you. Ask people in NPP, they are quiet, they can see the bus is going to crash but if they say it they will attack them. So they are waiting for the bus to crash, and when it crashes, I said they will take the bus and send it to Kokompe to repair it and put it back on the road for 2021,” Mr Mahama said.
According to him, Mr Akufo-Addo “should learn to accept criticism, I do, people insult me, vilify me, I don’t utter a word. And, so, when I say you cannot unify your party so you cannot unify Ghana and I think that the kind of president Ghana needs at this stage in our history is one who can bring us together… you must prove a track record that you can bring people together and most people do not think that he can do that.”
Mr Akufo-Addo has come under criticism from President Mahama and leaders of the governing NDC for the streak of internal furore within the Danquah-Busia-Dombo party which saw National Chairman Paul Afoko, General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong, and Vice Chairman Sammy Crabbe suspended indefinitely late last year. There were also some skirmishes between rival factions at the party’s national headquarters in Accra. Other misunderstandings led to the death of two party members in the Upper East and Ashanti regions. Mr Akufo-Addo’s critics, including Mr Mahama, have used these incidents to describe him as a “dictator” and a “divisive” leader who does not merit being president of the whole of Ghana if he cannot keep his party united and at peace. Mr Akufo-Addo has, however, parried those accusations and criticisms.
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