President Mahama’s outboard motor distribution to fishermen has continued to stir up controversy among political stakeholders.
A large section of stakeholders have accused the President of abusing his incumbency by distributing the motors ahead of the 2016 elections. One of the major critic of the act was the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), who accused Mahama of indulging in electoral corruption and abuse of incumbency.
The body inferred abuse of incumbency on the President’s part on the grounds that, it was stated by the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), that the distribution of the outboard motors formed part of the state’s interventions.
But the Presidential Advisor on corruption, Daniel Batidam, has defended Mahama’s outboard motor distribution during his campaign tour of the Western Region, in August. Daniel Batidam speaking to the media, said the President’s distribution of the motors, was indeed included in government’s budget for the year.
He explained that the President cannot be accused of abusing incumbency if he is taking advantage of such intervention, which is of benefit to him. He argued that it is improper to assume that a President cannot undertake government policies or activities during a campaign period, which will add to his achievements.
Explaining further, he said that the same President would have to deal with any negative situation that arises from his failure to embark on such activities.
Indeed Mr. Batidam’s argument has been in the minds of NDC supporters, as well as the President’s campaign team. But the initial allegation was on the agenda for discussion of the GII, who believed strongly that the act was more a less a bribery for votes.
According to the GII who had chided Mahama publicly, the distribution of the outboard motors few months away from elections, is worse than vote buying.