The National Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Kofi Adams has disagreed with claims that the governing party is buying votes ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7.
According to him, in line with local customs, one was obliged to make donations to traditional rulers after visiting their palaces as a token of appreciation, and equating such actions to vote buying would be incorrect.
Mr Adam’s comment follows a recent survey by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) that indicated the NDC was leading the table in terms of vote buying ahead of this year’s polls.
The survey indicated a total of 51 per cent of Ghanaians surveyed believed the Mahama government had been buying votes, followed closely by Nana Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party with 32 per cent.
The results of the survey come at a time both the president and his wife, Lordina Mahama, have been accused by the anti-corruption group Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) of buying votes and abusing incumbency.
But responding to the survey on a local television station TV3 Network on Saturday August 20, Mr Adams said: “We have had the cultural thing long before we even started voting. When you visit the elders, you are expected to go with a gift. Sometimes when you are leaving, you are expected to drop something. You go to the chief’s palace, it is not because the chief cannot feed himself or the queen mother cannot feed herself, but then you are expected as a cultural thing to drop something in an envelope and then some drinks as a token of respect and recognition that you have visited that person.
“Would anybody classify that as vote buying? I have my own doubts. So, if you do some kind of survey and you situate it in the Western world system, you may be getting it completely wrong. You would have to look at what pertains culturally.”
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