A Political Marketing expert has said there is a preponderance of evidence that both President Nana Akufo-Addo and John Mahama have latched onto the Covid-19 crisis to put out a political message ahead of general polls in December this year.
The Political Marketing guru at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr Kobby Mensah, suggests that it is not only President Akufo-Addo who has chipped into his national address on Covid-19 a few words that are clear campaign messages but Mr Mahama too.
Dr Mensah even suggests that, to a significant extent, the two main political parties, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have engaged in activities that are clearcut vote-buying through the distribution of food and other items to the public during the lockdown period.
Speaking on Joy News’ current affairs programme, PM Express, he said he cannot blame the two parties because “political parties when they get the opportunity, they will use it as a political platform.”
He blames the country’s elections referee, the Electoral Commission (EC).
“I put the blame squarely at the doorstep of the EC because they have been very laid back, they’ve been slow in responding when it comes to the issue of political campaigning.
“You look at our EC for example, they do not have any guidelines regarding political campaigning on social media, for example, …so when we see campaigning, they [the EC] can’t see one. They have no clue whether the party is campaigning or what,” he criticised the EC.
His comments follow the President’s eighth televised update on Ghana’s Covid-19 situation which has been criticised for containing statements that should be on a campaign platform.
Dr Kobby agrees that the President’s address to the nation could easily pass for a campaign message, albeit some important pronouncements on the national anti-Covid-19 strategy.
“I didn’t see the President campaigning yesterday [Sunday]. I saw the President campaigning all through his addresses,” he said.
In his view, in the absence of a firm regulatory framework to keep the parties in check with regards to campaigning, they cannot be blamed since it is an election year.
“For me I think the EC has failed us,” he said.