Mr. Mahama, who is seeking re-election, said last Friday that the campaign had been stressful and that had made him catch cold, adding that his ‘melodiuos voice’ had been affected.
“This evening if you don’t hear my usual melodious voice, it’s because the stress of the campaign has affected me and I am nursing a cold. I guess I will be fine. I took a day off the campaign trail to attend to some businesses in Accra,” he said at the launch of a special edition of the Ovation lifestyle magazine in Accra.
“First, to attend the funeral of somebody who has been like a mother to me, very interested in my progress in my career – Dr Mrs Mary Grant. I wish her farewell! And also to be here with you this evening for the launch of my good friend, Dele Momodu’s special edition of the Ovation,” President Mahama claimed. Mr Momodu is the Chief Executive of the Ovation magazine.
He (Mahama) said that he contracted his ‘good friend’ to do the special edition for him when he was approached by the Nigerian politician.
The Ovation magazine produced a special edition displaying President Mahama and his NDC government’s works and capped it with an interview of the president.
The magazine, which is mainly circulated in Nigeria, had to be launched in Ghana in a move many saw as a fundraising exercise for the publisher, Dele Momodu, a failed Nigerian presidential hopeful.
Mr Dele Momodu has not hidden his admiration for the president and is always in the media urging Ghanaians to give Mr. Mahama a second term in office.
“I was touched by some of the things he said (regarding government’s achievements) because these were coming from the eyes of somebody who would not typically be considered as part of our partisan politics or even let’s say not a Ghanaian, and so it puts things in more context for me,” President Mahama said of Dele Momodu at the launch on Friday.
According to President Mahama, it was Dele Momodu who told him that his (NDC) government was not telling its success stories and that he (Dele Momodu) wanted to project them.
“Later, I was contacted by Ovation magazine and they said they wanted to do a special coverage of some of the work I have been doing because ‘you (government) are not telling your story enough’ and it is true,” the president underscored.
He added, “One of the things we have not been good is telling our own story, probably because of the nature of who we are – not boastful and also believing that Ghanaians naturally know the work we are doing without you trumpeting it – and so I readily agreed to grant the interview.”
The president backtracked after blaming a so-called cabal in the media who he claimed had been blocking messages that should have gotten to the people. He accused his party people of not being able to tell his success story to Ghanaians.
According to him, a certain group of people have taken control of the Ghanaian media and are standing in the way of the delivery of his government’s message.
However, Mr Mahama appears to have eaten back his own words by turning to blame the NDC party and government for not being good at telling their own stories.
Defending Dele Momodu’s stance on Ghana’s affairs, the president described Ghanaians as people who are unable to accept criticisms, saying, “I follow Dele Momodu on his Twitter handle and I know the criticisms that he comes under for speaking positively about myself or my government.
“That is one of the developments in our politics. It is most unpleasant. We can’t take criticisms, we can’t take news that is positive about somebody we don’t like, and so we have a lot of insults on social media and actually detract from the issues. Instead of dealing mainly with the issues, those people rather take the route of trading insults.
“But one of the things Dele has, and I wish I develop, is that he has a thick skin and he has a very calm way of responding to criticisms that are thrown at him. And so, I have been following him and learning how to respond to criticisms. I won’t wake up at 3am and tweet to respond to any criticism. I admire his calmness and the way he responds to criticisms.”
By William Yaw Owusu