The National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) parliamentary nominee for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, John Dumelo, has said he will not stop eating at traditional eateries (chop bars), something he has done since his school days at Achimota Senior Secondary School just because he is contesting to become a lawmaker.
“But I’ve been eating at chop bars since Achimota School days, right to KNUST to me working on construction sites to my farms till now. So because of politics I should stop eating at chop bars?” he quizzed.
In the heat of their campaigns ahead of major elections, some Ghanaian politicians normally frequent grassroots joints to mingle with the ordinary locals in their daily routines so as to endear themselves with the electorate.
For instance, a former mayor of Accra, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, when he wanted to be an MP, went about helping some ordinary women in his constituency to prepare banku.
He also helped to braid a woman’s hair during his campaign tour of the Ablekuma South Constituency in Accra ahead of the 2016 election.
In the run-up to the same election, the then-flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, was spotted in a photograph drinking Kalyppo fruit juice.
The photograph went viral on social media, with Ghanaians from all walks of life identifying with him by posting Kalyppo-drinking selfies on social media.
In 2012, during one of his campaign tours, Nana Akufo-Addo was again captured in a picture gulping a sachet of water, with groundnuts wrapped in a transparent polythene in his palm.
Other politicians jumped into filthy drains to help clean them in communal labours and even walked in the rain to go on door-to-door visits to interact with the electorate during campaigns.
While one may assume these acts will present the candidate as down-to-earth, other commentators describe such acts as publicity stunts.
Apart from eating at chop bars, Mr Dumelo was captured on camera helping some female students of the University of Ghana, Legon to apply makeup on Saturday, 28 September 2019.
Not too long ago, the actor also posted pictures of himself on social media, cleaning some drains in his constituency.