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Rawlings calls for calm over Mahama, Otumfuo controversy

H.E. Former President Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings is calling for cool heads to prevail over the controversy surrounding the Asantehene’s recent comments at the UN General Assembly Meeting.

The NDC is unhappy with Otumfuo Osei Tutu for claiming that he intervened during the December 2016 general elections for losing parties to accept the results.

Rawlings in a tweet said, “there’s enough tension. Let’s cool it and cool off.”

Asantehene Otumfuor Osei Tutu II while addressing a United Nations (UN) General Assembly meeting on the Culture of Peace in the US over the weekend revealed that he had to intervene to convince a losing candidate [ostensibly ex-President Mahama] to concede defeat in the 2016 Presidential election.

“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. 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.

“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,” he added.

But John Mahama’s former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah in responding to the statement said John Mahama was not persuaded to conceded defeat in the last election.

“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,” Mr. Debrah said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The matter has generated serious debate within the political circles with some persons critizing the Asantehene over what they believe is a breach of trust and confidence.

But Former President Rawlings has described the whole argument as unnecessary.

“The Asantehene has made us proud with a highly educative address to the UN on the subject of peace. Comments by former President Mahama on an aspect of the address shouldn’t elicit or provoke edict sounding threats. It is unwarranted and unnecessary,” Rawlings said.

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