The 2020 political campaign, like any other election season, was heated; with various political parties fanning to flame the shortcomings of the other amid jabs, innuendos and gimmicks. Perhaps, this year’s was more intense and the reasons are not farfetched.
For starters, the presidential poll which had a dozen candidates was a re-election push for incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo and former president John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Also, it was the third time both personalities were contesting for the Presidency after a 2012 victory for Mr. Mahama and a 2016 win for Nana Akufo-Addo. Supporters of both parties had been urging electorates to retire their respective opponent over claims of incompetence, mismanagement of the economy, failure and/or refusal to combat corruption, among others.
Submissions on several platforms, including television and radio discussions, political rallies were characterized by aggression as political figures propagated their messages. But in the midst of these were some moments to relish. Comic reliefs were inadvertently unleashed and eventually extinguished the tension that clouded the atmosphere.
1. Akufo-Addo’s Nii Lante Vanderpuye gaffe
A pretty awkward and perhaps funny moment was witnessed at the NPP’s last rally at Mantse Agbonaa in Accra as President Akufo-Addo introduced the party’s parliamentary candidate of the area as Nii Lante Vandepuye instead of Nii Lante Bannerman.
“In Odododiodio, if you are voting for me, then you are also voting for Nii Lante Vanderpuye,” the president said as he held the hand of Nii Lante Bannerman.
Having been notified that he had caused a blunder, President Akufo-Addo quickly mentioned Nii Lante Bannerman. Amid laughter, he apologized and urged the people to pick Bannerman over Vanderpuye.
“I didn’t speak well at all. I have made a mistake. What am I going to do with Nii Lante Vanderpuye? I meant Nii Lante Bannerman and I want you all to vote him,” Nana Akufo-Addo said as the crowd cheered and applauded.
While some attributed the gaffe to fatigue, others blamed it on the similarities in the names of the two competing candidates.
2. Mahama and the noisy Vuvuzela player at a Suhum rally
John Mahama during a campaign in Suhum in the Eastern Region asked a supporter who was playing a Vuvuzela to leave if he did not want to listen to the campaign message he [Mahama] was communicating to the gathering.
“Please Vuvuzela [player], mute the noise,” Mahama said in Twi. “If you won’t listen you may leave.”
A few moment afterwards, ‘vuvuzela’ started trending on various social media platforms as users held on to it for amusement.
3. Ivor Greenstreet hoped to give NPP, NDC ‘electric shock’
The flagbearer of the Conventions People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet argued that until the electorate gives the NPP and NDC “electric shock” by voting for the CPP, the country will not see a facelift.
In a viral video, Mr. Greenstreet was seen chanting his “electric shock” slogan with some members of the party.
Although a section of the public saw it as the “joke of the century”, the politician argued that “That shock is not just a gimmick. Yes we have grabbed people’s attention but the actual simple reality is unless they [Ghanaians] give the NPP and the NDC the ‘electric shock’, nothing will change and that status quo will continue.”
4. Akua Donkor and the ‘annoying’ caller
68-year-old Akua Donkor had made it to the ballot paper for the first time after two failed attempts and was confident of victory. A caller, however, pooh-poohed the conviction after a radio interview and she wouldn’t take it lightly. The said caller maintained that it was obvious who the winner would be and added that Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) was not to be counted among the candidates because she is not a competition at all.
“You’re mad,” Akua Donkor retorted.
Like other incidents, the footage featured on whatsapp statuses and other social media platforms.