The gifting of money by President John Mahama to a young trader whose wares were destroyed by a crowd that mobbed the presidential convoy during Mr Mahama’s campaign tour in Abossey Okai in Accra cannot be said to be a vote-buying exercise, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr has said.
In the amateur video, Mr Mahama is seen gesturing at specific people within the crowd and dishing out GHC50 bills to them. The President later clarified to the Accra Post newspaper in an interview that he was just compensating the people who lost their merchandise as a result of the inconvenience his presence in the area caused.
Critics of the government have described the president’s “act of compassion”, as a vote-buying move and an abuse of incumbency.
However, contributing to the debate on Multi TV’s Newsfile programme on Saturday September 24, Mr Baako said: “We watched the video carefully and that cannot be a vote-buying exercise, it cannot be, but I think it was also indiscreet”.
“There is a campaign team out there, when the president is out there, there is a campaign team with him, when such things happen, I believe communication is that effective among themselves for some party campaign elements to take care of that situation rather than the president himself going out to do those things in order to show compassion, to show that: ‘I’m human’; it can be misread, it can be misinterpreted…” he told host Samson Lardy Anyenini.
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