Outgoing Sports Minister, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuije has admitted that “comfortable lead” which emerged as one of the most popular refrains in the heat of the collation of results in the 2016 election was to “assuage the frustrations of supporters” of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Taking his turn on Starr Chat with Bola Ray on Accra-based Starr 103.5FM Wednesday, Vanderpuije who is also Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo said the statement made by Joyce Bawa, campaign spokesperson for the John Mahama campaign on the night of election day December 7 was strategically made to buy time and calm nerves as defeat stared the unsuspecting party faithful.
“Let me say that it was strategic. I’ve come to see that it was strategic. We have what we call the boomerang effect; when the expectations of people are so high, if you are not careful and you don’t manage the expectation, and their frustration comes in, they could vent.”
‘We’re in a comfortable lead’ is to “assuage the frustration of the supporters. [It was] to minimise their frustration because the anger that would have come with the straight [admittance] that we have lost, people would have committed suicide,” he said.
The outspoken politician added: “Even with this, we have reports of people committing suicide. Yes, I’ve heard of about three across the country. People could just not stand it… Even me, I broke down.”
Incumbent President John Mahama eventually conceded defeat to main rival Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP later in the evening of Friday, December 9 as the latter had taken a commanding lead of over a million votes difference with four of the 275 constituencies unaccounted for.
The President-elect, Nana Addo will take the oath of office to officially assume his position on January 7, 2017.