General News of Sunday, 3 March 2019
In a seeming confirmation of the authenticity of parts of the leaked recording of the Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, former President John Mahama has said the party’s chairman did not incite violence towards the Peace Council Chair, Rev. Prof Emmanuel Asante.
Mr. Mahama instead said Mr. Ofosu Ampofo instead called for NDC supporters to criticize Prof. Asante.
In the said recording which the NDC insists has been doctored, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo is heard saying “for the first time, I will endorse insulting [of] the Peace Council Chair.”
Speaking at the Perez Chapel in Accra on Sunday, Mr Mahama said the NDC was only unhappy that the Peace Council Chair, condemned comments made by him in the wake of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence “without condemning the violence. That was our problem.”
“If you condemned the violence and then you commented on what the former President said, that would be acceptable. So in the circumstances, for our chairman who had witnessed the violence… anybody who saw that will be traumatized. And so if a few days after he was talking and saying we should attack the Peace Council Chairman, he didn’t mean we should go and beat the Peace Council Chairman, he meant we should criticize him.”
Mr. Mahama just yesterday called sympathizers and members of the party to disregard the leaked tape with contempt.
“Our opponents are good at propaganda and they will come up from time to time with things to distract us. This issue of a [leaked] tape is just a distraction. Dismiss it with the contempt it deserves. Let us focus. Our message must be to the Ghanaian people,” he said.
In the recording, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo is heard outlining plans to deploy men to match up with NPP groups ahead of the 2020 elections.
His plans also included verbal attacks on the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa in addition to Prof. Asante.
The NDC chairman said his approach to the election was going to be different and said there were plans for “covert and overt operations.”
Mr. Ofosu Ampofo is set to honour an invitation from police on the matter on Monday.