Debasing The Presidency

The campaign for election 2016 has registered its lowest point yet. President Mahama caught on camera dishing out cash to his financially distressed and malnourished compatriots has dwarfed all the other oddities recorded in his campaign so far.

We wonder what could have accounted for his resort to the open doling out of cash as opposed to the concealed module or even doing so through emissaries.

Subtlety is the word: when it is ignored the impression is that the president has little or no respect for Ghanaians.

We are compelled to recall his interview with the BBC reporter on bribery. His response was preceded by a question as to whether he as a person had ever been bribed.

It sounded interesting, more so when juxtaposed with his ongoing cash-laced road show across Ghana. Those who grease the palm of others must have been recipients of same from others.

This stage of his plan to prop up his campaign with bribery is a scaling down from the V8 vehicles to cash, and from chiefs to the ordinary Ghanaian enduring the heat of the scorching sun as they sell assortment of sweets or sachet water. They do not need expensive vehicles to be influenced.

The president has gotten it all wrong as Ghanaians are more discerning than they were when he concluded that they ‘have short memories.’

Something very serious has definitely informed the president’s new preference of streetside bribery. If the move has not emanated from his campaign managers or even advisors but his novelty, then our president requires an immediate examination of sorts by psychiatrists. What he is doing of late is indeed beyond our ken and other Ghanaians: it is unprecedented and a parlous precedence which should not be encouraged, lest it joins the other oddities in our political culture. It was such a pitiable spectacle and would have been dismissed as cooked-up, were it a mere textual presentation or report, but for its capture and dissemination on social media.

We are hard-pressed not to believe that he seeks particular features in recipients before releasing the cash perhaps as prescribed by his Marabout or some deity somewhere within or even outside the country.

Such actions prompt myriad theories, this one not an exception.

He points at a person and then proceeds to dole out the cash, the action making others to jostle to catch his attention. How sad!

The Chief of Staff, perhaps finding the development incredible and therefore lost for defence, said his boss was only distributing leaflets. Thank God he did not describe the report about the president’s distribution of something as mendacious.

President Mahama now distributes leaflets during his campaign trail. So what could the leaflets be about and can we see a sample without delay?

Debasing the presidency under such circumstances is not only inappropriate, but crude and condemnable.