An international relations expert fears former President John Dramani Mahama could trigger strained diplomatic relations between Ghana and the countries whose diplomats he met with recently.
Dr Vladmir Antwi-Danso said the invitation extended to the diplomatic community by the former president, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the Minority in Parliament over the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election violence was unnecessary and will not achieve anything good.
He said diplomacy issues were delicate if not handled properly, fearing that the current government could find fault with the countries the diplomats represented for honouring Mr Mahama’s invitation.
In another vein, the diplomats and the countries they represent could fall out with the current government because of what they may have been told by former President Dramani Mahama during the meeting, he said.
“There is no way that the diplomatic community have not sent their reports [about the violence] already to their countries. Meeting them does not add anything but what it does is trying to pitch the government against the opposition with the diplomatic corps as players…and that is in sour taste,” he said.
Dr Antwi-Danso made these observations on Joy News which was monitored by Today on Monday, February 18, 2019.
Mr Dramani Mahama’s February 13, 2019 meeting with the members of the diplomatic mission sought to make the point, among other things, that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has a fertile history of engaging vigilante groups to cause mayhem.
Joined by the bigwigs of the NDC, Mr Mahama showed the members of the diplomatic community videos and photos of the violence that rocked a polling station at La Bawalashie during the bye-election.
Government has since condemned the meeting and said some of the videos shown to the diplomats were fabricated evidence to paint Ghana black to the diplomats and the international community.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the government was taking steps to clarify the issues to the diplomats because none of the claims made by Mr Dramani Mahama concerning the polls and other related matters was accurate.
Dr Antwi-Danso indicated that the violence that rocked the January 31, 2019 bye-election was not the kind that should cause the former president to take such a drastic step as involving the diplomats.
He noted that bye-election related violence had happened more than once and the state had shown the willingness to deal with them as evidenced by the Commission of Inquiry into the latest violence.
“Former President Mahama should have played better statesmanship. He could have written strongly about the violence, published it and send copies to the international community…” he offered as a better alternative.
Dr Antwi-Danso was convinced Mr Mahama was ill-advised on the decision to meet the diplomats over the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence.