Former President John Dramani Mahama has said he will not be part of the Independence Day anniversary in Ho today, Monday, March 6.
The theme for the event will be: ‘Our Unity, Our Strength, Our Purpose’.
Mr accused the organizers of the event of turning the occasion into a political party jamboree where New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters are bussed to cheer up their leaders.
Mr Mahama stated that the Independence Day celebration is a national solemn day and should not be hijacked by a political party.
Speaking at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Professional Forum Dinner and Awards Night in Accra on Sunday, March 5, Mr Mahama who is seeking to be elected flagbearer of the NDC ahead of the 2024 general elections said “I just came from the Volta Region, and just when I was leaving they were preparing to celebrate the Independence Day. I have stopped going to Independence day because it has become a party jamboree. I went to Tamale and they told GBC to take the camera off me, they bussed their supporters in and filled the whole stadium.
“When I got into the stadium the place was quiet, I went and sat, they gave me some corner somewhere, I went and sat there and they occupied the dais. When any of them came [the supporters] shouted.
“I said I don’t want to be part of this party jamboree. Independence is a solemn national celebration that is celebrated at Independence Square and everybody could come. Today, they bus their supporters in, they have party flags, and they are wearing party T-Shrts, I don’t want to be part of the party jamboree.
“Nkrumah got us independence, I am a Nkrumahist, I will attend an Independence Day anniversary any day if it is not hijacked by one party, it is a national day for all of us, so I am not going to be there because I don’t want to be part of an NPP Jamboree. You watch what will happen, they will bus their people there and occupy the whole place.”
In relation to the celebration in Ho, the Volta Region branch of the opposition NDC is demanding the release of GH¢126 million by the government as money owed the region.
According to the NDC, this amount is the aggregate of the Akufo-Addo-led government’s promise of GH¢1 million per constituency per year, which the party says is in arrears for the past seven years.
The NDC in the Volta Region said the joy and enthusiasm that usually characterize the celebration of the country’s independence anniversary is eroding as a result of “unprecedented bad governance, unimaginable levels of corruption and the incredible high cost of living”.
“We believe that in order to have this theme to resonate well with all Ghanaians, it would be appropriate for President Nana Addo to use the Independence Day celebration to apologize to the good people of Volta Region for the kind of humiliations he subjected the good people of the Region to during the 2020 voter registration,” the NDC said in a statement issued by the Regional Secretary, James Gunu.
“It is obvious that the unprecedented bad governance, unimaginable levels of corruption and the incredible high cost of living is eroding the joy and enthusiasm that ordinarily goes with our Independence Day celebrations.
“There is no spirit of patriotism and nationalism in the management of the country’s economy.”