The Peoples National Convention’s (PNC) Policy Analyst, Atik Mohammed has taken a swipe at President John Mahama over his call on all Northerners to vote for him because he is of their kind.
The NDC Presidential candidate for elections 2012 on a political platform at Zuarungu in the Upper East Region was reported to have said northerners were tired of occupying the Vice President position. His comment has since drawn criticisms from a cross section of the general public.
Condemning the President’s comment, Mohammed Atik lamented that President Mahama and the NDC had no locus playing the tribal card.
He said: “I find it extremely offensive in the sense that it is this same NDC that overthrew the first President who happened to be a northerner, President Hilla Liman was overthrown by the NDC and so I do not find the recent call by the President as anything more than hypocritical.”
He asserted that “he was the same person with other Northerners who advocated and campaigned vigorously against Dr. Hilla Liman in 1992, ultimately he lost and some of them profited from it because when NDC won, they were appointed Ministers and Deputy Ministers.”
Making reference to the political turmoil that inundated neighbouring Cote D’I Voire, Atik Mohammed insisted that the President’s comment could lead to the destruction of the nation.
“For me the debate should even go beyond the call by the President that he being a northerner all northerners should vote for him; I am looking at in the perspective of having the tendency to destroy the country, Ivory Coast was up in flames because they had promoted this politics of ethnicity and tribalism,” he added.
In a related development, the opposition New Patriotic Party also hit hard on President Mahama accusing him of engaging in tribal politics. Addressing a news conference in Kumasi on Monday, an Aide to the NPP Presidential Candidate, Samuel Abu Jinapor opined that President Mahama had lost out on issues and playing the tribal card.
“He said they should vote for him not because of what he can do to improve their lives but because of where he comes from and that is the most insulting thing a leader can say to his people; many Ghanaians hoped this was one of such statements and a slip on the part of the President, his communicators have always stated that such mistakes made by the President are mere slips and not intentional but he has continued on the same lines.”
Abu Jinapor charged, “President Mahama sped off in Zuarungu in the Upper East Region to further divide Ghana between northerners and southerners; according to the President, northerners are tired of being Vice President and this is a very reckless statement which may even be interpreted to mean that he spent his first three years at the Castle desperately looking for the opportunity to take President John Atta Mills’ seat, yes the President is telling us that he prayed for his chance and now he has it and is doing everything possible to hold onto it.”
Abu Jinapor also laughed over the NDC’s attempt to link US President Barrack Obama’s victory with their chances of winning the December 7 elections saying, “another sign of desperation exhibited by President Mahama was to try and draw a linkage between the victory of Barrack Obama and that of the NDC; according to President Mahama, Obama’s recent victory points to a victory for the NDC in the December polls, this is indeed laughable, our President is now telling Ghanaians that because Obama has won they should also elect him into office.”
He cautioned the NDC against such comparison, “the NDC which won the 2008 elections by some 40,000 should take note that President Obama’s winning margin which stood at nine point eight million in 2008 dropped to some two point three million in 2012; If a performing incumbent dropped this low what about a non-performing one who even had a tiny margin of victory of some zero point four percent.”
Abu Jinapor analyzed Obama’s victory saying, “Barrack Obama won mainly because he positively affected the lives of the ordinary people of America with a policy similar to what President Kufour did with the NHIS.”