Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is neither tribalistic nor ethnocentric, former President Jerry John Rawlings has said.
Condemning a recent tribalistic comment made by former Transport Minister Dzifa Attivor that a future Akufo-Addo government under the main opposition New Patriotic Party will prosecute only Ewes should it win the November polls, Mr Rawlings said: “While I may not be a fan of the NPP, I know their presidential candidate is not tribalistic or ethnocentric.
“Whatever Nana Addo’s shortcomings, tribalism is not one of them. Some known and respected Voltarians like Nutifafa Kuenyehia should be able to testify to his political nature,” Mr Rawlings added.
At a recent NDC rally in the Volta Region, the party’s stronghold, Mrs Attivor, who resigned a couple of months ago in connection with an overpriced bus branding scandal, told party members to ensure the NPP does not return to power, otherwise an Akufo-Addo government will embark on a jailing spree of Ewes just as former President John Kufuor did during his tenure, citing the imprisonment of former government officials Victor Selormey and Dan Abodakpi to buttress her point.
The comment has been widely condemned by the National Peace Council, the NDC’s Volta regional arm and the NPP, as well as by Ghanaians on social media.
In Mr Rawlings’ statement, he said: “My attention has been drawn to a statement made by a former Minister for Transport, Dzifa Attivor at a political event at Wodoaba in the Volta Region. I find it distasteful that aside [from] making ethnocentric references accusing the NPP presidential candidate of being tribalistic, she also insinuated that because I was the Founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the electorate in the Volta Region should vote for the party on that basis.
“Before making such unfortunate statements let’s remove the logs in our own eyes,” Mr Rawlings said.
He added: “I do not subscribe to the politics of ethnic bias and never have. As we draw closer to the next presidential and parliamentary elections we all as Ghanaians expect ALL PARTIES involved in the process to base their arguments and campaign rhetoric on the truth and desist from emotional and non-factual statements, especially where my name has to be mentioned.
“I implore the electorate not to allow immature behaviour and pronouncements to cloud their judgement,” Mr Rawlings said.