#PulseElections Mahama confirms sharing money, but on compassionate grounds

In a newspaper interview, the president explained that 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.

  • Published:
play The video, which has since gone viral, captured the president pointing to three individuals at different location gesturing to them to come close to him where he gave them the money.
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President John Mahama has confirmed sharing money to some specific individuals during his recent tour of Agbogbloshie market in the Greater Accra Region.

In a newspaper interview, the president explained that 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 Daily Post Newspaper reported the president as saying the tray fell from the girl’s head and the crowd trampled on the fallen eggs. The girl then burst into tears. Touched by what only he could see because of where he was standing, he ordered the man who commands his convoy (who was in his vehicle) to stop the convoy. The convoy thus stopped.

President Mahama said he 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 gesture, the president said in the interview was to compensate the little girl for what he had lost.

The video, which has since gone viral, captured the president pointing to three individuals at different location gesturing to them to come close to him where he gave them the money.

The account of the Daily Post newspaper was corroborated by the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of tertiary education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on Newsfile Saturday.

The Daily Guide newspaper, Ghana's biggest private newspaper suggested the president was engaged in vote buying.

"President John Mahama, in his inordinate ambition for re-election in the December general election, has been spotted sharing money on his campaign trail," the newspaper reported on Thursday.

Earlier, the Chief of Staff Julius Debrah dismissed the video, saying the President Mahama could have been sharing leaflets and not cash.

But the campaign coordinator for the re-election bid of the president said there was nothing wrong with what the president did.

"The President is just like any other person and a Ghanaian so he’s free to give gifts to people. There is nothing wrong with him doling out money to people, if indeed he did that," Kofi Adams said.

Some Ghanaians have also expressed reservation about the president's video.

They expressed anger as to why the president should be allegedly sharing money when they are living in hardship.

The video I saw didn’t make sense to me at all. How can the president go round sharing money when we are starving. Why didn’t he bring us that money all along? Do you think because of votes, you can deceive us with money? We are not kids. He shouldn’t think he can fool us any longer. Already, he has accused us of having a short memory. We are no more like that. We have become wise and this time, we will vote wisely,” a trader at the Madina market told Pulse Ghana.

For Auntie Abena, she has lost all hope in the president as what he promised is yet to be fulfilled.

“Our business has collapsed. We are dying. And yet when you have money, you decide to share them with people. He is wasting the tax-payers money on unnecessary things, while we sit here and suffer. He shouldn’t think he will win with this. No matter what he does, he will lose. Even if he gives me some of the money, I will not accept it as it wouldn’t influence me in any way,” she said.

“He should stop sharing the money as that will not augur well for the country’s development. He thinks because of our so-called short memory, he can come and distribute money to us so we could vote for him. He doesn’t care about us. He wouldn’t have been sharing money to us if he did. His focus should be on how to help us grow our businesses and not to be sharing money. The president can be sharing money at the villages but not here. We are wise enough,” a shoe-seller told Pulse.com.gh.

A pre-election survey conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and released this August shows the governing National Democratic Congress is the most guilty of buying votes ahead of the 2016 elections in December.

A total of 51% of Ghanaians surveyed believes the John Mahama-led government has been buying vote followed closely by Nana Akufo-Addo's New Patriotic Party with 32%.

Both the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have since denied the claims in the report.



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