General News of Thursday, 22 November 2012
Kwabena Agyepong, a former press secretary to President John Kufuor, has described People’s National Convention (PNC) candidate Hassan Ayariga’s performance at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) debate Wednesday evening as laughable and a complete joke.
He said the leadership of Ghana was serious business and anybody hoping to lead this country must demonstrate maturity, seriousness, and candour - character traits which, he said, Hassan Ayariga failed to exhibit as both his participation and his behavior made a mockery of the all-important event.
In violation of the debate rule prohibiting the audience from making noise, the audience at the Banquet Hall of the State House, the venue of the debate, constantly giggled when Ayariga spoke. That, the former press secretary said, was a clear sign of the scant regard the audience had for the PNC candidate’s submissions.
Agyepong said, "Hassan Ayariga,the least said about him the better. This country is a serious country and we need serious leaders. He was a complete joke. We don't need the quality of that kind of people running our politics. And I’m disappointed in the PNC, they had great leaders like Dr. Limann; educated, solid man who was president of our country and their former leader, Dr [Edward] Mahama was a respected person who when it came to [situation] such as this, did very well," but Hassan Ayariga"was a comic relief, and you could see it; when he spoke everyone broke in laughter”.
He said that governance was about the collective welfare and that the security of the 25 million Ghanaians was at stake, so Ayariga ought to have been more serious at the debate.
Sammy Awuku, a Deputy Communications Director with the New Patriotic Party (NPP), also described Hassan Ayariga as a “comedian who came to crack jokes.”
“Clearly the man was not prepared. He came in as a comedian to perform on a stage, but this was a serious platform. I think in future we should look at the quality of representation…. This is a serious platform and let’s not reduce it to a contest of who is the best comedian”, Sammy Awuku said.
But Benard Monarh, PNC General Secretary was of the view that his candidate did tremendously well.
He told Joy News that the attacks of the NPP on the PNC candidate were unjustified.
Mr. Mornah said that although Hassan Ayariga was unwell, he performed creditably.