The Office of former President John Dramani Mahama has refuted claims by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, that he persuaded the ex-President to concede defeat in the 2016 Presidential election.
Speaking at the UN High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace at the Headquarters in New York, Otumfuo Osei Tutu said Manhyia was heavily involved in ensuring a violence-free election after the polls as he coaxed then President Mahama to accept his fate and peacefully hand over power to then-candidate Akufo Addo as the newly elected President of Ghana.
“At the conclusion of the last Presidential and Parliamentary elections the country stood on the edge of disaster. The UN Representatives and the Diplomatic community were aghast alarmed that Ghana was about to slip down the slope of electoral violence. Fortunately, the moral authority of the Palace was at hand. We were able to intervene 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 a statement signed by the Chief of Staff under the John Mahama regime, Julius Debrah rubbished the claims by the Asantehene.
The statement said Mr Mahama out of his own volition conceded defeat and was not impressed upon anyone to do so.
“As former Chief of Staff to President Mahama, I was associated closely with all the pre, during and post 2016 poll events. 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.”
Below is the full statement
Reference is made to a video recording of an address by His Majesty the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the UN High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, which seems to suggest that former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama had to be persuaded to concede defeat in the 2016 Presidential Election.
As former Chief of Staff to President Mahama, I was associated closely with all the pre, during and post 2016 poll events. 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.
The Asantehene has over the years been a very respected interlocutor in Ghana’s multi-party political engagements. He has been generous in his wise counsel to present and former Presidents.
It is public knowledge that President Mahama willingly announced his decision to accept the outcome of the 2016 elections and congratulate Nana Akufo-Addo even before the official results were formally declared by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.
On the day President Mahama willingly conceded defeat, he met with then-Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah- Arthur, NDC Chairman Kofi Portuphy, General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia, together with some high ranking members of the party and informed them of his decision to call and congratulate Nana Akufo-Addo.
Following the meeting with the party, he called a number of personalities including President Jerry John Rawlings, President John Agyekum Kufuor, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, National Chief Imam Sheikh Nuhu Sharubutu, Rev. Ernest Agyei of the Ringway Assemblies of God Church and Archbishop Duncan Williams.
As Otumfuo himself has already stated publicly, under his auspices, there were three meetings held in Kumasi between President Mahama and then Candidate/President-Elect Nana Akufo-Addo during the period. The first was prior to the December 07 election in which the two candidates promised to play fair and respect the will of the people. Indeed, President Mahama in a conversation with Nana Akufo-Addo said he hoped Nana was not going to tie down the nation in a court case again after the 2016 elections.
The other two meetings took place after the official declaration of the results of the elections, and to re-emphasise, after President Mahama had publicly conceded and congratulated Nana Akufo-Addo. Those two meetings focused on matters arising out of the transition process.
President Mahama made a commitment to the people of Ghana, never to be the one to subject them to the periods of unease, political instability and the doubts they experienced after the 2008 and 2012 elections. He remained true to that commitment and exemplified it after the 2016 elections.
Mr. Julius Debrah
Former Chief of Staff
Sunday September 15, 2019