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The 2016 State of the Nation Address by President John Dramani Mahama was only used to solicit for votes to win another presidential term and “was a performance more of a drama,” a political communication expert, Dr Eric Mensah, has suggested.
Dr Mensah, who was reacting to the president’s speech to parliament on 25 February, explained that even though examples can be used in communication, the president over exaggerated.
He also indicated that parading a number of people to parliament in the three-hour presentation as evidence was unacceptable.
To him, hand picking a few people “does not necessarily show a clear indication as to how a transformational agenda is really serving the lives of the citizens in the country,” he told Paul Ofori-Amanfo on Class FM’s 505 news programme.
He further articulated that: “From my professional point of view, the president gathered real communicative arsenals to make a performance before the Ghanaian people. Some people were in the gallery, taken from all parts of the country to Accra so they will be in parliament for the president’s performance,” he stated.
The senior lecturer at the University of Cape Coast said he got the impression that the presentation was geared towards scoring political points instead of giving an account of stewardship.
“What happened was an overdose and it amounts to a certain sense of propaganda and an effort of the president to turn the State of the Nation address into a rhetorical performance, in a sense, trying to extend his campaign agenda,” Dr Mensah insisted.
“The president gave an impression as if he is not ending his tenure now [as general elections are scheduled for November 7] and that naturally, Ghanaians are going to give him, automatically, the next four years, which is not guaranteed. He even said that he would leave office in 2020.”
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