President John Dramani Mahama has called for a “clean and competitive” political campaign devoid of insults and lies in the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
He said political parties needed to conduct their campaigns “in a modest and decent” manner to disprove the notion that politics was a dirty game.
President Mahama made the call yesterday at a durbar of chiefs and people of the Greater Accra Region at the forecourt of the Trade Fair Centre at La in Accra.
He had earlier visited the family home of the former First Lady, Mrs Naadu Mills, at Prampram, where he thanked the family for collaborating with the government to give President John Evans Atta Mills a fitting burial.
On his way to the durbar ground, President Mahama made whistle stops at Ashaiman and Nungua, where he was met by a large number of National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters and sympathisers.
The President said politics per se was not dirty, but indicated that “it is us politicians who make politics dirty”.
For instance, he said, the late President Mills had changed the face of politics by his modesty, humility and patience.
President Mahama said even those who led the onslaught of insults and vilification on the late President Mills praised him as a patient, humble and tolerant person in death.
“We, therefore, have to take the unfortunate tragedy of the demise of the Prof Mills to forge ahead. Let his attributes continue to live on. Let us clean up our politics. We have to approach politics with civility and modesty,” he stressed.
The President said it was in that light that he had directed the government communication team to focus on issues and not attack personalities or respond to personality attacks.
He said he believed that the government had done a lot of work and, therefore, Ghanaians would want to hear those achievements but not insults or lies.
President Mahama reiterated his commitment to ensure a free, fair and peaceful election in fulfilment of the promise made by the late President Mills.
He urged the youth of Ashaiman, Nima, Maamobi and other areas not to allow themselves to be used as thugs by unscrupulous politicians to visit mayhem on their perceived political opponents.
The President reassured the people of the Greater Accra Region that he would complete all the projects initiated in the region by the late President Mills.
He said new projects would be started in Accra to improve infrastructure and develop the region to attain its true status as the capital city of Ghana.
On behalf of himself, the government and the family of the late President Mills, President Mahama thanked the chiefs and people of the Greater Accra Region for their show of love, support and encouragement during the funeral and burial ceremony of the late President.
The President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, Nene Abram Akuako III, noted that the late President Mills was a man of peace who had contributed to the development of the Greater Accra Region.
He expressed the hope that President Mahama would be able to continue from where the late President Mills left off.
Nene Akuako III extended an invitation to President Mahama to convene a meeting with the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs to discuss issues of concern to the region.
Speaking at a mini-durbar at Prampram, Mr E.T. Nartey, the head of the family of the former First Lady, thanked President Mahama for leading the government to give a fitting burial to late President Mills, who was their in-law.
The Paramount Chief of the Prampram Traditional Area, Nene Tetteh Djan II, assured the President of the commitment of his people to support him to continue implementing the policies under the Better Ghana Agenda started by the late President Mills.
At Ashaiman, the football field where President Mahama was billed to address the people was crowded, forcing the President to speak to them in his open-top vehicle.
He later interacted with the market women at the Ashaiman Market.
Enthusiastic motorbike riders led President Mahama and his entourage, including the Chief of Staff, Mr Henry Martey Newman; the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr E.T. Mensah; the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo; and the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, through the principal streets of Ashaiman.
Some of the motor riders followed the President’s convoy to Nungua, where President Mahama assured a large crowd and sympathisers of his commitment to ensure a free, fair and peaceful election this year.
President Mahama is scheduled to continue his ‘thank you’ tour of the Greater Accra Region today, to bring to a closure the tour which has taken the President to all the regions.
By: Sidney Quartey