Having come to the last minute realisation that their ‘transformational message’ has failed to resonate well with the electorate, the governing National Democratic Congress, this week alone, is spending a whopping GHC10 million on buying airtime on FM stations across the country to propagate their message.
The budget for the radio project for Greater Accra alone was GHC6 million, while the rest of GHC4 million was distributed to the rest of the regions.
The Daily Statesman can confirm that Starr FM, a radio station owned by Dr Kwabena Duffour, former Finance Minister during the late President Mills administration, was paid GHC500, 000 while Joy FM, one of the multimedia stations, was paid GHC150, 000 an hour a day for three days.
The radio project has seen most of the morning shows, as well as afternoon political shows, across the capital being hijacked by propagandists of the governing party, seeking desperately to tell the electorate, particularly, about infrastructural projects carried out in the last eight years.
Interestingly, and as if seeking to obliterate the memory of the late President Mills, these Mahama apologists have been seeking to create the impression that all the projects were undertaken in the last four years under President Mahama.
This desperate media project by the governing NDC, with barely two weeks to the December 7 elections, is seen by many as a panic response to the President’s worry that a certain cabal controlling the media had been either distorting or blocking his so-called transformational message.
“A certain group has taken control of the media in Ghana, and it makes it difficult for people to discern the truth. So as much as you are putting out the information, it is either being blocked or distorted,” he told the Ovation International magazine in a recent interview.
The NDC media project is also seen by some people as an attempt to prevent the media from scrutinising the various recent scandals that have rocked the government, such as the GHC30million borehole project being spearheaded by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission.
“The NDC has bought airtime on the morning shows of a number of radio stations to propagate its messages. I’m told it’s from today to Friday. I can confirm for Joy FM and a number of Multimedia Group Limited’s platforms. So take it easy on the show hosts. They are not as dumb as some of you are suggesting. If you are interested in discussing PURC’s borehole project, the social media is your space. Nobody can buy that one unless you sell it. Or if the IGP, who’s appointed by the President, blocks it,” a broadcast Journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, posted on Facebook yesterday.
Meanwhile, Deputy Communications Director of the NPP, Perry Okudzeto, yesterday told the Daily Statesman that the NDC, knowing they are losing the elections, are prepared to go all out and do whatever it takes to win votes.
“But the problem is that the money is the taxpayers’ money. That is why they don’t care how much they throw out there. The desperation is so clear that they are ready to spend millions of our money to do this. But we are not worried because President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria spent even more and lost heavily,” he told the paper.
Mr Okudzeto added that despite the NDC’s last-minute attempts to woo Ghanaians for their votes, the NPP would remain focused and sell its messages to the electorate.
“The NPP will not be distracted. Ghanaians have received our change message and can’t wait to let their thumbs do the talking on December 7,” he said.
Acting National Chairman of the NPP, Freddie Blay, recently accused the governing NDC of deliberately blacking out minority political parties in the media, particularly in the Eastern Region, in a bid to keep the vulnerable majority of people in the dark and spread falsehood and propaganda in the region.
According to him, the NDC had succeeded in buying prime time from morning to evening for a week on some major radio stations in the region to spread their propaganda and lies against the NPP and its flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo.