An aspiring Member of Parliament for Kwesimintsim in the Western Region has described as absurd, accusations that he was using the Covid-19 status of a sitting MP as a campaign tool to unseat him.
Dr Prince Armah, who is also the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), in a rejoinder said such an accusation can only be malicious and a betrayal of his long held commitment to a clean campaign.
He was reacting to comments made on Good Morning Ghana, Wednesday, by Eugene Boakye Antwi MP for Subin and Deputy Minister for Works and Housing.
In contributing to the debate on stigmatization, the Subin MP alleged some MP aspirants were using the Covid-19 status as a campaign tool against some MPs ahead of the party’s primaries.
He singled out the Kwesimintsim constituency accusing the opponent of the sitting MP of dabbling in Covid politics to win the seat.
But Dr Prince Armah says the accusations by the Subin MP were not only “shocking” but malicious.
“To suggest that I would attempt to co-opt this crisis, which knows no race, tribe, social standing or gender for political purposes is therefore an allegation so unhinged and malicious that I struggle to understand why anyone would make or spread it.
“Neither I, nor my campaign would descend to such levels and I condemn the suggestion of my involvement as much as I condemn the original allegation about the MP’s status,” he said.
The following is the full statement
Response to false allegations on Good Morning Ghana
I have noted with shock and amazement, comments attributed to the Eugene Boakye Antwi, Member of Parliament for Subin and Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, suggesting that I had started a rumour that Joseph Mensah, incumbent Member of Parliament for Kwesimintsim, had contracted Covid-19.
This is absolutely false and has no basis in reality. Indeed, I have been so consumed with my national duties at the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment that I hardly noticed the story, since debunked, that two members of our august house had tested positive for the virus.
Like every other Ghanaian, I am concerned about the spread of the virus in our country and I have supported in any way I can to help combat it. In my constituency, I have taken every opportunity I have to undertake public education on the matter.
Before anyone else in the constituency, I donated Veronica buckets, liquid soaps, hand sanitizers and other protective materials to markets, bus stations, hospitals, police stations and other places where people are likely to congregate. In my public commentary on the pandemic, I have sought to spread calm and not fear, while lauding President Akufo Addo’s excellent response to the global crisis.
To suggest that I would attempt to co-opt this crisis, which knows no race, tribe, social standing or gender for political purposes is therefore an allegation so unhinged and malicious that I struggle to understand why anyone would make or spread it.
Neither I nor my campaign would descend to such levels and I condemn the suggestion of my involvement as much as I condemn the original allegation about the MP’s status. Our campaign has been based on nothing but the issues that are of relevance to the people of Kwesimintsim.
Commentary in and out of the constituency reflects the fact that we have run the cleanest campaign in the constituency’s history. Often, this has meant ignoring the lies and fabrications from the other side and restraining our aggrieved supporters from reacting or responding. I can assure everyone, including the Deputy Minister and others who may have been so deceived, that this will not change.
It is my firm belief that the Honourable Member of Parliament may have been misled by less scrupulous persons with a callous agenda. I am only disappointed that he chose to elevate this on a national platform without verification. It remains my firm hope that he will, on realising the error, take steps to correct it and repair the damage he has caused.
I would like to assure the people of Kwesimintsim and the entire country that I will not, for whatever reason, descend to the level of politics so insensitive, so self-centred and so empty that it has to rely on wishing ill on others. I believe that elections should be nothing more than a contest of ideas and campaigns should be about the interests of voters and not petty squabbling between candidates. My record as an academic, public servant and politician should make that clear.
Prince Hamid Armah (PhD)
Executive Secretary, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment
Parliamentary Aspirant, Kwesimintsim