The traditional leaders were particularly concerned by the negative attacks on former President J.J. Rawlings, mostly from members of his own party, and wondered whether those lending their voice to such contemptuous speech had forgotten the unparalleled role he played in Ghana’s political development.
They expressed those concerns when they called on former President Rawlings at his office in Accra.
The Queenmothers, led by Mamaga Noviode of Sogakope, included Nana Akyembaku Mansa from the Central Region, Nana Ama Serwaa from Ashanti, Nana Akua Gyasiwaa from Eastern, Mamaga Maamele from Klikor in the Volta Region, and Abesewaahemaa, Nana Afia Gyamaa Pinsan.
“We have come here to plead with you to exercise extreme patience and restraint and not allow such attacks to compel you to respond in anger,” Mamaga Noviode said.
They charged the NDC to publicly reprimand members who showed disrespect to the founder, to prove that they value the role he played in establishing the ideals that led to the founding of the party.
The queenmothers said they were keen on ensuring peace during and after the elections, and were doing an outreach to preach that message.
Ex-President Rawlings, in his response, said the elections would be a real test of Ghana’s resolve, and issued a note of admonishment to all stakeholders to ensure that the process is free and fair in order to guarantee post-election peace.
He said to guarantee a result that would be acceptable to all, nobody should attempt to misbehave or to do anything fraudulent.
He noted that the culture of disrespect, which has engulfed our society, has compromised our peace and made it vulnerable.
“When we used to exercise a culture of respect in the past there was a thick layer of peace, which could not be compromised that easily. Today that layer of peace is so thin a little provocation is all it takes to get matters out of hand,” he stated.
“We’ve been able to exercise the necessary restraint through quite a number of elections. This one is going to be a real test and I can only appeal once again that we make it as free and fair as we possibly can in order to maintain the peace.”
Former President Rawlings expressed his deep gratitude for the visit and concern shown and asked the traditional leaders to call for a free and fair election to guarantee peace in the country.
Also present at the meeting were Reverend Professor Richard Lawson, a member of the NDC Council of Elders as well as Adams Guma, former District Chief Executive of Walewale from 1992 to 1997.