A former Health Minister under the erstwhile Mahama administration, Alex Segbefia has said that though both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP), use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to project their policies, the President of the land has no right to do same.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo cannot use his position to campaign whilst addressing Ghanaians on updates in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Reacting to the President’s eighth address in which he outlined a grand plan to building 88 district hospitals and 6 regional hospitals within a year, Mr. Segbefia said President Akufo-Addo deviated from his speech as compared to the previous ones he made and ventured into the realms of politics with his latest update.
He maintained that President Akufo-Addo used the platform to campaign because the 94 hospitals he has promised to build are unachievable saying it is only to gain political points from Ghanaians.
A Political Communications expert, Dr. Kobby Mensah in an interview accused both the NPP and the NDC of latching onto the COVID-19 crisis to send out their political message ahead of the December 2020 elections.
Dr. Kobby Mensah described both parties as opportunistic who are vote-buying using the pandemic as an avenue to distribute foods and other items to the public.
Responding to what the political scientist said, Alex Segbefia said he admits both parties are taking advantage of the situation but it is wrong for President Akufo-Addo to do same since he’s the leader of a nation.
Mr. Segbefia said President Akufo-Addo ought to set the right examples for others to follow in his steps and not repeat the mistakes of others.
“Although I agree predominantly with a lot of what Dr. Mensah said, I think he’s shying away from placing responsibility in one area where it’s very important. The nature of our system is that the president in terms of power, in terms of stature and in terms of position is the number one gentleman of the land. He actually sets the example and we follow. It is not whether the person is being a former president, it is the president of the day and that is why I categorically said, when he moved into that political angling, he then opened the door which; yes you have political parties and others doing those…but some level of criticisms from the actions of the president must be meted out,” he stated.
He continued that “Former President Mahama is a flagbearer of a political party and so long as he stays within the rules of what is happening, the President should be the one saying you’re setting a bad example….As we get on air and speak, we’re all doing a certain level of politics. So at a certain level, we all do politics but the person who should not be seen to be doing it, if we’re saying it is not right at this stage is the President. And he can never use the fact that others are doing it as an excuse to also do it.”