Mustapha Gbande, the Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), issued a public apology after facing widespread criticism for encouraging voters to arm themselves with cutlasses ahead of the 2024 elections.
Gbande’s controversial statement, made during an interview on Accra-based Okay FM, sparked outrage from various quarters, with critics accusing him of promoting violence and undermining the democratic process. During the interview, Gbande had asserted, “When we are going to the polling station, let’s carry with us cutlasses. If we do, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will not be able to misbehave toward us.”
Despite being confronted about the potentially incendiary nature of his remarks during the interview, Gbande had initially stood by his statement, emphasizing that it was necessary for NDC supporters to be prepared for any challenges during the upcoming elections.
However, in a subsequent interview on Kumasi-based radio Angel FM, Gbande offered a sincere apology and accepted responsibility for his earlier comments. He stated, “I take the responsibility and I will apologize for it. And I’ll do so because it is part of me to accept when it is wrong.”
While expressing remorse, Gbande also raised concerns about the accuracy of the initial interview, suggesting that he may have been misquoted or misunderstood. He urged the media to revisit the interview and consider the context in which his statement was made.
“We will go back to the issues and scrutinise the issue of how the story started. You may also not be in a position as a newspaper to go and misquote somebody,” Gbande remarked during the interview on Angel FM.
The controversial remarks had drawn swift condemnation from both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the public at large, prompting calls for disciplinary action against Gbande. As the political landscape heats up in the lead-up to the 2024 elections, Ghanaians are now keenly observing how political leaders address issues of electoral conduct and public safety.