In a swift response to President Akufo Addo’s recent comments on a video depicting NDC Youth brandishing cutlasses during a clean-up exercise, Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi, Chairman of the Eastern Legal Team for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), clarified the party’s stance on violence in the upcoming 2024 elections.
His comments come after President Akufo Addo expressed concerns over the video, suggesting a potential inclination towards violence by the NDC.
However, Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi, while acknowledging the President’s call for non-violence, pointed to past experiences under the NPP government, noting instances of violence during election periods.
Lawyer Minta Larbi questioned the President’s reaction to the cutlass brandishing, attributing it to either an anticipation of future violence under his watch or a strategic move to suppress any obstacles to his agenda.
He emphasized that the NDC has no intention of initiating violence in the processes leading to the 2024 election and during the election itself but is prepared to defend itself if attacked.
According to him, the NDC has learned from past experiences, cautioning members of the NPP government against planning or instigating violence in the upcoming elections.
He further emphasized the party’s readiness to respond firmly to any form of aggression.
Larbi reminded the public of the NDC’s revolutionary spirit, asserting that the party, despite its peaceful posture, is vigilant and ready to assert its rights if necessary.
He highlighted the legal right of self-defense, stating that every NDC member is aware of this right under Ghanaian law and shall strongly defend themselves and the party if anyone dares attack them.
Below is his full statement;
NDC WILL NOT BE THE ONES TO START ANY VIOLENCE IN ELECTIONS 2024 BUT WE WILL SURELY EXERCISE OUR RIGHT TO SELF DEFENCE IF ATTACKED
LAWYER ISAAC MINTA LARBI RESPONDS TO PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO ON NDC YOUTH BRANDISHING MATCHETTES.
President Akufo Addo has recently commented on a video of NDC Youth brandishing cutlasses at the residence of Incoming President John Dramani Mahama during the clean up exercise and in his comments President Akufo Addo seems to suggest that NDC wants to promote violence but that such violence would not happen under his watch.
Whilst it is encouraging and refreshing to hear the President say this, experience over the years under the watch of his NPP government show otherwise when it comes to violence especially in election related matters.
I wonder why the mere brandishing of cutlasses could excite the interest of the President for him to allege that the NDC intends to engage in violence.
I’m sure the President, despite growing up in luxury for which reason he doesn’t understand poverty, has definitely engaged in a clean up exercise before and knows that weeding with cutlasses and cutting with cutlasses is part of a clean up exercise.
I am personally of the opinion that for him to see the mere brandishing of cutlasses during a mere clean up exercise for that to excite him to force him to publicly comment on it seems to suggest that he is either planning some more violence which have always happened under his watch or he is dreaming of using violence again and doesn’t want to see any impediment in his way hence his reaction.
What we in the NDC wants the entire NPP to understand is that the NDC will not be the ones to start any violence against anyone.
In fact this is notice to the whole world that the NDC will not be the ones to start any form of violence ever at all.
But whilst we may not be the ones to start any violence what we want the whole world to also know is that we have surely learnt our lessons so anyone in the NPP government and/or anyone in the NPP party who intends to or is thinking of planning any violence especially in the 2024 elections should think twice because, and I say this advisedly, that it is only a fool who would allow his balls to be stepped on twice as our elders say with the greatest of respect.
For us in the NDC we are ready to respond to any form of violence that would be unleashed by anyone in the NPP government or anyone in the NPP party.
We won’t allow ourselves to be turned into lame ducks that can be kicked, attacked, maimed, injured, and maltreated just anyhow and at anytime.
We know the present NPP government as a crop of people who preach peace but practice violence so we are used to such deceptive public utterances which always come from them.
Let them be reminded however that the NDC party is the only party in Ghana with the revolutionary spirit and when we are quiet it doesn’t mean our spirit is dead. At the appropriate time we will let the whole world know that we are alive and kicking with vigour and steam.
The law allows everyone to defend himself when he is under attack or about to be attacked and every member of the NDC is fully aware of this right under the laws of Ghana.
If our President wants peace in Ghana and wants peace to prevail during the elections then he should personally ensure that no one engages in violence as it happened during the Ayawaso Wuogon bye elections.
He should also personally make sure that there is no repeat of what happened in election 2020 when 8 innocent Ghanaian citizens were murdered in cold blood under his watch for him to win the elections and for which he has personally failed to ensure the prosecution of same.
What is even worse is that under the watch of President Akufo Addo, the military was sent to the chamber and the heart of the Parliament of Ghana at a time that Parliament, as an independent institution, was exercising it’s right to elect their Speaker.
This attack on Parliament is a very serious breach of our laws and one of the most serious violence that can be unleashed on the institution of Parliament which is a separate and independent arm of government and yet till today there is no investigation and no repercussions for such conduct under his watch, although, the military operate under the executive arm of government who had no business intruding into the actions and activities of Parliament.
If our NDC MPs had not exercised restraint and demonstrated utmost bravery in the face of such extreme provocation the whole country could have been plunged into chaos and mayhem arising out of the needless attack on Parliament.
Indeed it is very unfortunate for the President to say that under his watch he will not allow any form of violence when it is under his watch that the most violence has happened when it comes to elections in Ghana and in the extreme forms.
No Ghanaian has been murdered in cold blood during elections since 1992 that Ghana started it’s 4th Republican democractic governance system.
In fact his record is so bad such that despite the submission of petitions for investigations into the cause of the shootings leading to the untimely death of the 8 Ghanaians during the 2020 elections, he has failed as a President to lead any investigations at all let alone talk about any form of prosecution.
This is extremely sad but these are lessons learnt and let no one try anymore violence in the upcoming elections in 2024.
Let everyone be assured that no NDC member would start any violence.
Our focus would be on winning the elections by doing the right things and from the look of things the NDC has already won so we have no reason to resort to any form of violence.
Needless to say but we know that the NPP knows itself that it has already lost the elections and so it is them that have the incentive and the motivation to resort to violence hoping to overrun the people and overturn the Will of the people but that shall never happen.
When you run the country down the way you have done you can’t possibly expect the good people of Ghana to keep you in power.
Let everyone especially the NPP government and the NPP party be rest assured that we will resist any attempt to overturn the Will of the people of Ghana and no violence would go unresponded to.
Ghanaians have the right to self defense and it will be their right to defend themselves when attacked again during the elections in 2024.
So Mr President thank you for assuring the whole world that there would be no violence during elections 2024.
But we are guided by the saying in the Bible that we should be as wise as a serpent so we would be watching your every move and that of your people untill after the elections when the NDC is definitely declared the winner.
Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi
Chairman, Eastern Legal Team, NDC.