History: Former President John Kufour defends Nana Addo’s “All Die be Die comment

Former President John Agyekum Kufour in 2017 observed that political opponents of the NPP exaggerated the All Die be Die comment made by then candidate Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo in 2011. According to Mr. Kufour the exaggeration was only to make Nana Addo look bad in the eyes of the electorates.

“It was not threatening”. The comment attracted criticism from all quarters with many saying it was a war-drumming pronouncement. Then candidate Akufo-Addo was addressing some supporters of the NPP in Koforidua in the run-up to the 2012 elections when he made the comment. “They have intentions to intimidate us in 2012 because they believe that we are soft and cowards. If that is the thinking, then we shall see. At least, during the Atiwa by-election, we showed a little of our colours there,” he said. “You must understand that this party was formed by courageous people. Our leaders who formed this party that has now become the biggest political movement in Ghana were not cowards. So in 2012 we need to be courageous because all ‘die be die’. All die be die.” Many consider the comment as one of the reasons Mr Akufo-Addo lost the 2012 elections.

But speaking on Starr FM on Wednesday, Akufo-Addo’s predecessor said the comment was innocuous. “I don’t see anything wrong with that.” Mr Kufuor said it was just to prove to the incumbent, then, in the face of intimidation, that NPP was not afraid. Alluding to an Akan proverb, the second president of the Fourth Republic said Mr Akufo-Addo meant no harm with that comment. Akufo-Addo himself has, since, expressed regret for not explaining what he meant by ‘All Die Be Die’ on the day he made the pronouncement. He believes it was twisted against what he stands for.

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