Former President John Mahama has asked critics within his party to directly hold him responsible for the loss of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general elections.
“The cause of our loss is multifaceted,” he told his former appointees at a meeting on 28 March, adding that those going on air to blame fellow party members and specific members of his administration for the defeat must redirect those accusations at him since he led the party into the elections.
“Of course, as the General who led us into battle, I take ultimate responsibility for our losing the election, and so if it will satisfy those people, blame me for the loss,” Mr Mahama said.
Meanwhile, he has said his government made “monumental” achievements, of which members of the NDC must be proud.
“I believe that you must hold your heads high because that government did a lot for this country and I believe that posterity will be the judge eventually,” Mr Mahama said.
“We did a lot to improve infrastructure of the country and often infrastructure is a thing people take for granted. It is possible to be in the opposition and criticise. We should not feel depressed or ashamed,” he urged the ex-appointees, saying “our service in government was outstanding.”
“We must continue to defend that legacy of that government,” he added, saying there was the need to “regroup, refocus and go back into battle.”
Mr Mahama has also condemned the thuggery being perpetrated by some supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) through vigilante groups such as Delta Force and Invincible Forces.
He said the government cannot use thuggery to retrieve alleged missing state cars as being perpetrated by the Invincible Forces in particular.
“If you cannot look for vehicles in a more civilised manner than having troops going into people’s houses, breaking down their gates and say you are looking for vehicles, you cannot go to DVLA and look through the database and find out what government vehicles are available, then what kind of efficiency do we have in government?,” Mr Mahama wondered, adding: “Just this morning, I heard Agyekum’s [former MP for Nkoranza South] house was raided. … And they [NPP] will always come back and apologise because those are not vehicles that belong to the state.
“Government is saying they cannot look for an efficient manner of looking for vehicles than forming storm troops to raid people’s house and I think that it is wrong. I am going to have the opportunity to tell Nana Addo that they should stop this … This cannot continue, this thuggery is not good for our country and the point is we thought we had a good transition.
“…This [incident] serves as examples that make it difficult in future when there is another transition for another government to restrain party supporters. All the thuggery, removing people from office, beating people is unfortunate. We must say it in the strongest terms and if they heed it fine, if they don’t, it is a learning process for our whole country.”