A former United Kingdom High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin has waded into the ongoing discussion on the do-or-die comment made by former President John Dramani Mahama.
He did this when he tweeted at actor John Dumelo who is also a former Parliamentary Candidate in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in last year’s elections, saying, “@johndumelo1 – my friend, have you patented the slogan “I Dey Do Or Die 4 U” yet?”
Mr Mahama had indicated that the 2024 election is going to be a do-or-die affair at the polling stations.
Speaking on Techiman-based Akina FM’s on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, as part of his thank-you tour, Mr Mahama said “This current president has made elections life and death for him, he uses his Delta forces and invisible forces enrolled in the security agencies.
“You see some Military and police officers and ask whether these are indeed officers. They wear earrings and all sorts of things and you can’t tell whether this is a police officer or a soldier.
“We know they have infiltrated the security with some of their people. Look at what happened at Techiman South the ways they shot at the crowd, it was intended to kill people. We hope that in the next elections we won’t see scenes like that again.
“We have learnt our lessons from happenings during the 2020 polls. The 2024 elections will be won or lost at the polling station. It will be do-or-die at the polling stations. The right thing must be done during the polls. We will win the elections at the polling station and won’t wait for collation centre results nor petition the Supreme Court if aggrieved,” he said.
Despite the criticism against his comments, Mr Mahama in an interview on Moonlite FM in Sunyani on Wednesday, September 8, justified his comments saying they were harmless and “those who don’t understand English should stop the school interpretation”.
He insisted that “there was fraud in [the 2020] elections. . .that is why I said we learned lesson from it”.
“So the next elections,” he said in Twi, “we won’t wait and go to the Supreme Court.”
He added in English: “We will do it at the polling station and collation centre and I say it will be do-or-die.”
For him, Africans, as Ghanaians are, should know that proverbs are part of daily expressions and are used especially in situations where use of plain language will not be prudent.
“In English, we have idiomatic expressions. Those who dropped out of school do not understand idiomatic expressions. Do or die means a critical assignment you have and you must do the needful or perish. And so you must do the needful,” he stated in English, changing tongue to Twi by saying: “I meant NDC must not wait to go to the Supreme Court again. What we must do at the polling station and collation centre must be done!”