The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has kick-started its campaign for NovemberÂ 7 presidential and parliamentary elections with the distribution of outboard motors, embossed with pictures of President Mahama and the campaign theme of the ruling party, â€˜Changing lives; Transforming Ghana.â€™
The heavily state subsidized outboard motors, designed specifically for the tropical environment, were sold for GHc12,000 to the recipients, instead of the market price of GHc18,800.
According to the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Isaac Ashai Odamtten, who distributed the â€˜campaignâ€™ motors, the supply of the fishing equipment was one of the several promises President Mahama had made to the fishing communities.
The distribution of the outboard motors was held at the Tema Fishing Harbour on Monday. The handing over ceremony was preceded by the playing of the official 2012 campaign songs of the NDC, thus wooing some of the NDC supporters who graced the function to the dancing floor.
Because of the way the whole programme was highly politicized, some neutral observers at the function held the view that all the recipients of the outboard motors were probably supporters of the NDC.
Mr. Robert Kempes Ofosuware, who was the first to address the gathering, was happy to have been part of the team of the MCEs who lobbied for the outboard motors.
He praised Mr. Odamtten for resiliently continuing with all the developmental projects he started when he was the MCE for the area.
Mr. Kempes Ofosuware seizedÂ the moment to enumerate the developmental achievements of President Mahama and Mr. Odamtten and urged the people to vote for the president.
Nii Ashittey Odametey II, chief fisherman, was full of praise for the government and the MCE for getting them the outboard motors.
He was happy that the price of the equipment was unbeatable â€œbecause the outboard motor is very costly on the market. By subsidizing it for us, the government has really thought about the fisher folks and we are grateful for thatâ€.
He, however, entreated the government to increase the supply to meet the high demand of the large number of fishermen at the Harbour.
Nii Odametey said, presently there are about 800 registered fishermen at the Fishing Harbour, hence, the need for government to quadruple the supply.
For his part, Mr. Isaac Ashai Odamtten, Tema MCE, said the first supply was just the beginning of more fishing gears that the government would be distributing to the fishing communities.
He charged the fisher folks to maintain their outboard motors in good condition, so that they do not spend money buying new ones all the time.
He further advised them to use their old outboard motors as backups to the new ones so that they do not have to stay home for months, as they raise money to maintain the new ones, should they develop faults.