The Member of Parliament for the Ablekuma West Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has described the donation of outboard motors by President John Dramani Mahama to fishermen in the Western Region as an abuse of incumbency.
President Mahama was in the region for a four-day visit as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) kick-started its campaign ahead of the polls in December, and donated some outboard motors to fishermen in Axim.
The legislator suggested that, the president had knowingly given the outboard motors, procured using state funds, to the fishermen in an attempt to coerce voters.
“Interestingly on his first stop, he uses funds and equipment procured by the state for a policy of the state to give to people as part of his campaign. That is what is termed as abuse of incumbency,” Ursula Owusu-Ekuful told Citi News.
“You can dress it and put any garment on it but look at the facts, all of them were embossed with JM 2016, that’s a campaign gimmick. If you use state resources to buy outboard motors as part of an official government policy and you emboss those outboard motors with your campaign stickers and slogans and share them during your campaign tours, that’s vote-buying with state resources and a gross abuse of incumbency.”
The debate over vote-buying ahead of the polls has been reignited in recent days with the two main political parties trading accusations.
A recent CDD survey found that the NDC topped the list of vote buying claims, with fifty-one percent, followed by the NPP with thirty-two percent.
The survey has since been rubbished by the governing party, as well as the CPP and PPP, who were also cited as having offered ‘goodies’ in an attempt to buy votes.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful expressed concern that some deserving fisherman might miss out on the outboard motors because of their political allegiances, stating that, pro-government persons would be favoured.
“It’s part of a national policy to equip fisher-folk with outboard motors and you hand them over to party functionaries to distribute. Of course they are not going to give them to known political opponents of theirs, they will give it to their party people,” she opined.
According to her, the only way to ensure that tax payers’ money and state resources are used for the purposes they were intended, is to vote the NDC out of power.
“Vote them out then you can be sure that state resources would be used for the benefit of everybody,” she said.
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana