President John Dramani Mahama has criticized the Presidential Candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo for refusing to attend a presidential debate organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
According to the President, Nana Addo rather chose to espouse his plans to the electorates on a private radio station, Peace FM instead of debating him and other presidential candidates.
Nana Addo on Friday explained that he refused to show up at the debate because he felt both the NCCE and the state media, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), which aired the programme are biased.
“The state agencies that conducted these debates are not agents that have been particularly fair to some of us in opposition. GBC acts like a propaganda wing of the ruling party, so much also the NCCE. I do not see why in those circumstances I will say I am being given the fair crack of the whip and therefore come before such an audience,” Nana Addo told Citi News’ Umaru Sanda.
But speaking at a night rally organized by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region, the President, in a rebuttal, rubbished Nana Addo’s claim, describing his decision as disrespectful to Ghanaians.
“…You can have your convictions, you can have your statistics but the opportunity to prove them is when you sit with your peers. There are seven of us who have registered with the Electoral Commission to stand for President. They say come and sit down and tell Ghanaians what you want to do for them. That one too you won’t come, it is an utmost disrespect to the Ghanaian electorate and then all you say is GBC is a propaganda whatever.”
He wondered why Nana Addo equally failed to attend a debate organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) if he was indeed convinced that the GBC and the NCCE would not organise a fair debate.
“If GBC is a propaganda whatever , okay IEA too did a debate, why didn’t you go to the IEA one. If GBC is a propaganda at least you should have gone for the IEA one, that one too you run away.”
The President alleged that the NPP in a bid to “justify” Nana Addo’s decision also “asked all their MPs too not to appear for the parliamentary one that NCCE was doing.”
“What is this?… NCCE is saying here is a platform, come and tell the people what to do too he won’t go and the next day you come and you are debating Kwame Sefa Kayi. Kwame Sefa Kayi is not standing for President. You go and sit down alone and speak slangs…Come and speak the slangs at the debate, that’s where Ghanaians are expecting it,” he added.