Plans by NPP youth wing, Young Patriots, to stop former President Kufuor from attending Monday’s swearing-in of President Mahama is a sign of disrespect to the former president, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey has said.
The Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance told Joy News the action would also amount to a violation of Mr Kufuor's rights.
The Young Patriots have vowed to prevent the former president from attending the ceremony. Director of Operations Hopeson Adorye explained that the former president’s decision would only defeat the opposition New Patriotic Party's decision to challenge the elections results in court.
But Dr Bright Akwetey thinks former President Kufuor took the right decision to participate in the ceremony.
He said Mr Kufuor's decision was “very consistent with his (Kufuor’s) understanding of the statesman’s role that he plays in the nation now”.
Dr Akwetey, cited the resolution of Mr Kufuor to handover power in January 7, 2009 when his term of office came to an end, at a time his party was challenging the elections results.
He believes Mr Kufuor’s position was also informed by the fact that he, the former president, is a lawyer and therefore respects the laws of the country.
“Until the courts decide, the status quo remains the same, nothing changes. If you have taken the case to court for the court to decide, then you cannot also resort to other means… so the gentleman who spoke that he is going to stop Kufuor from leaving his house, they are clearly violating his right and also disrespecting him as a statesman.”
The IDEG Executive Director said, former President Kufuor has gone beyond being a mere party activists, adding that it was about time political parties differentiated between state matters and strictly party matters.
Dr Akwetey commended the NPP for taking the “right decision to go to court” to prove their claims of election irregularities which they believe significantly altered the results in favour John Mahama.
The Young Patriots are also threatening a demonstration a day after the swearing in ceremony to sensitize the public about the party’s legal action on the elections results.
But Dr Akwetey advised that once the case had been taken to court, it was only proper for the parties to remain calm and allow the courts to determine the merits of the case.