Former president and flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama has finally met with the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, TheNewsGh.com can report.
A source close to the opposition leader revealed to this portal that the meeting was held behind closed doors at one of the private residences of the king in the Ashanti Regional Capital, Kumasi on Thursday night.
It is suspected that the troubled Mr Mahama had met the king, pursuant to his earlier indication of visiting him when he would return from the United States of America in the heat of the controversies that greeted Otumfuo’s announcement at the United Nations that, he had to persuade the “losing candidate” (Mr John Mahama) to concede defeat after the 2016 presidential election.
Former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah and a host of NDC functionaries responded to the statement noting that John Mahama was not persuaded to concede defeat in the last election as claimed by the Asantehene; reactions that bruised the ego of Ashanti youth who consequently warned Mr Mahama not to step foot in the Ashanti region until he had publicly apologized to the king for insinuating he is a “liar”.
“I have profound respect for Otumfuo and Asanteman and will not allow this issue to mar our long standing cordial relationship. On Otumfuo’s return home, we will take the necessary steps to bring closure to this matter. In the meantime, I urge the general public and party members not to be baited into non-constructive flogging of this issue”, he wrote on his Facebook page.
According to him, the statement from his former Chief of Staff was only meant to clarify that he did not consider holding on to power and therefore was never persuaded to accept defeat.
“Clearly, Mr. Julius Debrah’s statement was intended to simply clarify that I never had the slightest intention of seeking to hang on to power unconstitutionally, as some media houses sought to infer from Otumfuo’s speech at the UN,” he added.
The king returned from his trip abroad last week to a rousing welcome and a drive through the principal streets of Kumasi in the company of paramount chiefs, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chiefs Executive (MMDCEs) and youth groups in a motorcade of hundreds of vehicles.
As at the time of filing this story, Mr John Mahama was said to be still in the Kumasi and being hosted by the Asantehene in one of his plush private residences at a first class residential area of the city.
He is expected to meet NDC executives and hold other private meetings before he leaves the city.