Former President John Dramani Mahama on his tour of the regions said the 2024 election is going to be a do-or-die affair, especially at the polling stations since elections are won there.
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According to Mahama, Akufo-Addo has made the election life and death for him since he uses his Delta and invisible forces enrolled in the security agencies to do what he likes.
Mahama came under serious attack after making the comment with regards to election vigilance during his thank-you tour in the Bono East Region.
His 'do-or-die' comment caused a lot of public debate as most people especially the opposition claimed he was inciting electoral violence ahead of the 2024 election.
While some others have opined that the comments from Mahama suggest violence and controversy, Mahama thought otherwise.
Mahama justifies his comments
Former president Mahama justified his comments about the 2024 elections saying he only used an English idiomatic expression which does not translate into the interpretation most people have drawn out of it.
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Mahama on Moonlite FM in Sunyani said the comments were harmless and advised people to stop reading meaning into it.
He added that proverbs are part of daily expressions and are used especially in situations where the use of plain language will not be prudent.
“In English, we have idiomatic expressions.Those who dropped out of school do not understand idiomatic expressions. Do or die means a critical assignment you have and you must do the needful or perish. And so you must do the needful,” he said.
Akufo-Addo's all die be die comment
Looking at the situation critically, Mahama's do-or-die comments could be equated to President Akufo-Addo's comments he made in 2012 while campaigning.
In 2012, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was campaigning ahead of the election while addressing the party's delegates conference claimed Ghanaians were crying for change and their hope was the NPP.
He entreated NPP members to prepare to defend the polls as he felt the NDC was doing all it could to hold on to power.
Akufo-Addo charged his party members to be ready to protect the ballot at the cost of their lives thus, alluding to the phrase ‘all die be die.”
"Ghanaians are crying for a big change and their only hope is the NPP because they know the NPP has done it before so we must work hard to get the party back to power to bring relief to Ghanaians. In 2012, all die be die" he stated at the time.
Akufo-Addo was slammed for his all die be die comments because it was a comment about violence and lawlessness.
This particular comment got Akufo-Addo in trouble as it gave supporters of the opposition the impression that he was willing to do everything to become president including, inciting violence.
Both comments are not the same
Meanwhile, Wa West MP and a retired Superintendent of Police, Peter Lanchene Toobu, state that those who claimed President Akufo-Addo’s ‘all die be die’ comments and Mahama’s 'do-or-die' are the same don’t understand the English Language.
According to him, the two comments are not the same because that of Akufo-Addo was reckless whereas Mahama's was an idiomatic expression expressing firmness.
"Do or die does not mean to kill. Do or die is all about being firm, resolute, and uncompromising. We are just making sure what is done right is done right,” he added.
'Do or die' and all 'die be die' comments were taken out of context
To the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, the former President's comments have been taken out of context.
He explained that Mahama isn't calling for electoral war either could his comments be likened to the ''all die be die'' statement that was made by President Akufo-Addo prior to the 2012 elections.
He said those who defended 'all die be die' are today condemning 'do or die''' and found Mahama's critics to be hypocrites stating ''this is all hypocrisy in our politics. The hypocrisy is too much''.
However, inasmuch as both leaders of the two major political parties in the country made election-related comments which were misconstrued, they would never under any circumstance want to incite violence.
Both political party leaders understand the meaning of the country's democracy and the peaceful atmosphere that make political and economic growth possible.
It is due to these reasons that Mahama's do-or-die and Akufo-Addo's all die-be-die comments are considered not as harmful and violent as most people took it.