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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

I won’t retract “do or die” comment; it’s an idiomatic expression – Mahama tells critics

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Former President John Dramani Mahama has said he stands by his comment that the 2024 Elections will be a “do or die” affair despite the huge public backlash he has received.

Speaking in a radio interview on Akina FM in Techiman on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, during his ‘Thank You’ tour of the Bono East Region, the 2020 Presidential Candidate for the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) had said his party won the 2020 parliamentary and presidential elections but was robbed of victory.

On the heels of this, Mr Mahama said that his party has learnt its lessons from the 2020 elections and will therefore be more vigilant to avoid the risk of losing to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the third time in a row.

“The election will be won or lost at the polling station, so at the polling station, it will be ‘do or die’. I did not say ‘All die be die’, I said it will be do or die, because the right thing must be done,” said Mahama.

Following the comment, some public discussions have indicated that there was no difference between “do or die” and a similar “All die be die” comment made by President Akufo-Addo in the past in relation to elections, which was also condemned by some people.

Many have therefore called on him to retract the comment.

However, speaking on Sunyani-based Moonlite FM on Wednesday, Mr Mahama said he was taken out of context and would not retract his comment.

The former president insisted that those criticising him over the use of “do or die” in his earlier comment lack understanding of idiomatic expressions because they left school at an early age.

“… They don’t understand do or die. Do or die is an English idiom. In Africa, we have many proverbs and we sometimes don’t say things in the straight format, we use proverbs. In English, we have idiomatic expressions. Those who left school early don’t understand idiomatic expressions. Do or die means a critical assignment you have and so you must do the needful or perish,” Mahama explained.

According to him, his comment was directed at National Democratic Congress (NDC) members who would be expected to discharge their duties at the polling stations.

He added: “What I mean is that the NDC should not wait and go back to the Supreme Court, whatever has to be done at the polling stations and collation centres must be done. And so I don’t retract, the next election for NDC is going to be a do or die affair.

I’m telling all our party executives that you must be at the polling station to make sure that the right thing is done. Don’t abdicate your responsibility at that level and expect that after somebody has stolen the election we’ll go to Supreme Court to see if they would turn the election for us, they won’t do it.”

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