Former President John Dramani Mahama says he will not retract his “do or die” comment, which has drawn widespread controversy insisting that it’s an “idiomatic expression”.
Mahama explained that the comment was meant to be a piece of advice to members of his party– the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)– to urge them to sit up and not wait to be cheated at the polling stations before running to the Supreme Court to litigate election results.
While on his ‘Thank You’ tour in the Bono Region, the 2020 presidential candidate of the NDC on Tuesday said his party will be more vigilant during the 2024 general elections.
“The 2020 elections were rigged for the NPP. We have however accepted the ruling of the Supreme Court for the sake of peace. However, come 2024, the NDC will be extra vigilant at the polling stations because that is where the elections are won.”
“So at the polling station [in the next election], it will be do or die. I am not saying all die be die. I’m saying it will be ‘do or die’ because the right thing must be done,” Mahama said.
However, his critics believe the statement is in bad taste and demanded a retraction.
But, Mr Mahama speaking on Moonlite FM in Sunyani said he stands by his comment.
“It is an idiomatic expression. In the English Language, we have idioms in there. I think those who left school early do not understand idiomatic expressions. Do or die means a critical assignment you have, and you must do the needful or perish. What it means is that [officials of the] NDC shouldn’t wait and go to the Supreme Court again.”
“So we have to do whatever we need to do at the polling station and the collation centres. So I won’t retract. The next election for NDC is going to be a do-or-die affair because we have to do the right thing at the polling stations. So I’m telling all our party executives that they must be at the polling stations and make sure the right thing is done. They must also be at the collation centres and make sure the right thing is done.”