Political Communications expert, Dr. Kobby Mensah says President Akufo-Addo’s meeting of political leaders to deliberate on steps to combat COVID-19 was nothing but an avenue to take pictures for his archives.
Describing it as a photo opportunity, Dr. Kobby Mensah said the meeting held with the political leaders had no impact in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
President Akufo-Addo on April 3, 2020, met with the leadership of the various political parties in the country at the Jubilee House to deliberate on the best measures possible to ensure the unity of the nation amid the fight against the virus.
But Dr. Kobby Mensah believes though it was a fantastic idea to meet the leaders, it was done on formality’s sake and nothing else.
According to him, he expected the President to involve the party leaders and other civil society organisations in a national COVID-19 response team, where decisions would be taken to fight the pandemic together.
He stated “when he (President Akufo-Addo) invited the leaders of all the political parties to the Jubilee House that was fantastic but I think it turned out to be a photo opportunity because the actions afterward did not look like that’s what the president actually wanted. Because I was expecting the president to perhaps announce as part of the national efforts put leaders of these political parties into that national campaign.”
He added that “because when it comes to a national crisis where is a national common enemy, you need to have leadership from all the structures of society into one common committee or organisation. The ones that we saw were informal but if we wanted a national response in that sense as we’re talking about bringing together the nation, you would expect a kind of formal arrangement where there is an expressive invitation of the leadership of both sides and civil society into one common institution to make sure that they can execute. But beyond the pictures, we did not see any action.”
Dr. Mensah further claimed President Akufo-Addo has been using his national address in updating Ghanaians on measures taken by government to fight COVID-19 as a platform to campaign his policies and projects.
“I didn’t only see the president campaign, but I see him campaigning all through…He’s always addressing without any media intrusion…President has been campaigning from day one,” he stated.
Moreover, he said the National Democratic Congress has been doing same as both political parties take advantage of the situation to score political points.
Dr. Kobby Mensah blamed the Electoral Commission for failing to keep the political parties in check.
“For me, I think the EC has failed us…You look at our EC for example, they do not have any guidelines regarding political campaigning…so when they see campaigning, they [the EC] can’t see one because they have no clue what is actually termed as a political campaign,” he criticised.