New Patriotic Party (NPP) Communications Director, Nana Akomea says the president giving ‘money’ to a few people during a campaign tour cannot be described as ‘sharing’ money.
He said the video shows the President single out some people and handing what was said to be money to them.
Speaking on Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis program, Newsfile Saturday, he said it could be the President was showing concern to a hawker whose wares might have been scattered as the convoy was passing.
In the video President John Mahama is seen handing over something to traders at Abossey Okai during his campaign tour of the Greater Accra Region.
Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah on Thursday told Joy News the video showing the President purportedly sharing money to could have been doctored.
He said regular practice does not allow the president to carry money on him when he is out of the office, therefore it is impossible that he could hand out cash to anyone.
“That is something people have not taken notice of presidents don’t carry money around. I never knew until I got to the presidency,” he said.
However, Deputy Minister for Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, also said on the programme that he was grateful the incident was filmed.
He said the video has enhanced the campaign of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) adding that the President does not need to buy votes to win the December polls.
Mr Ablakwa said the President has already shared what he has in policies, infrastructure among others to win him the upcoming December election.
He said the president gave out GH¢50 (about $14) to a girl whose wares destroyed as a crowd of people followed the Mahama’s convoy.
President Mahama in an interview with the Daily Post Newspaper has admitted giving out money during a campaign trail as captured.
According to the newspaper, the president laughed off the claim that he was sharing money explaining that “from the top of his vehicle, he saw a little girl with a tray of boiled egg in the crowd being pushed by the cheering crowd amidst the jostling. The tray fell from the girl’s head and the crowd trampled on the fallen eggs. The girl then burst into tears.”
The report said Mr Mahama was touched by what only he could see because of where he was standing and ordered the man who commands his convoy to stop the convoy.
The President then took GH¢50 from his ADC, pointed to the crying girl in the crowd and then reaching down from the top of the vehicle, gave it to a woman standing by her thinking she was with the girl.
“However, he was surprised to see the girl still crying so he asked her if the woman was the mother. When the girl shook her head and he noticed the woman had moved away, he took another GH¢50 from his ADC and gave it to the girl. This drew wild cheers from the teeming crowd,” the report added.
The newspaper said President Mahama recalled that it was the crowd that helped the girl forward towards his vehicle to enable her take the money because they knew he was compensating her for what she had lost.
Some critics say President was buying votes, however, Nana Akomea said this does not qualify as a vote-buying incident although other incidents elsewhere by the president qualify.
Mr Akomea was however disappointed people in government initially denied the incident.