Former President John Mahama has said the violence that erupted during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on 31 January 2019 and was described by some leaders of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a “dress rehearsal” for the 2020 polls, is what led to the death of eight people during last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

Speaking on Global FM in the Volta Region on his Thank You tour, the 2020 flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the Akufo-Addo government has warped democracy so much that it is trickling down to the local level.

“I was looking at something this morning [about the] Municipal Chief Executive [nominee] for Cape Coast, and they said 77 votes out of 63 [were cast]. The people there assembled were 63 and then somebody was saying that some people took some of the ballot papers and run away with them. I mean, what kind of democracy is NPP fostering in this country?” Mr Mahama wondered.

He observed: “And when you listen to people like Lord Commey and things, it’s about power. It’s not about the welfare of the people. It’s not about the will of the people”.

Mr Mahama quoted the Director of Operations at the presidency as having said: ‘If you get power, you shouldn’t hand it over to anybody’.

“What do you mean by that? It’s the sovereign will of the people who elect you to serve but when arrogance of power sets in, then you hear people speak so carelessly, recklessly”, Mr Mahama noted, adding: “I think it’s most unfortunate”.

He said: “If you listen to some of them [NPP people], the arrogance of power has got to them and he [Lord Commey] was quoting the president. He said the president says: ‘He’s going to hand over to an NPP president’”.