Entertainment pundit Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo has criticized the Ghana Civil Society Organisations’ call on Sarkodie to render an apology for circulating pictures of him [Sarkodie] smoking cigar on social media.
According to Asamoah-Baidoo, the musician, by smoking cigar, flouted no law hence, is not required to apologise for the act.
“Let’s not lose the fact that Sarkodie is highly influential and mostly, what these celebrities portray in their videos and photos, there is some research that proves it affects one or two people. So, there is some iota of truth in their claim but the approach is wrong.
What Sarkodie did is not against any law that is why that was captured at the latter part of their statement. He should apologise for what?” Asamoah-Baidoo asked during his submission on Peace FM’s Entertainment Review, Saturday.
“I don’t understand why they single out personalities. It’s a brilliant initiative; you can only appeal that based on your brand, based on your influence, this is not helpful. But to say he should apologise… Apologise for what? When he has not flouted any law?” he added.
On the occasion of his birthday, Sarkodie shared photographs of himself enjoying cigar. The Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), the Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (Ghana NCD Alliance), Jaishi Initiative, Media Alliance in Tobacco Control and Health (MATCOH), and the Community Health Support Team (CHEST) in a statement condemned the act and called on the rapper to apologise.
The statement further said Ghana’s Public Health Act (Act 851) under part Six, prohibits tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
It read: “We are very disappointed in Sarkodie for circulating pictures of himself smoking a cigar on social media without considering the negative influence this singular act stands to have on the public, especially the youth, most of whom consider him as their role model.
“We are also by this statement calling on the singer to render an apology to all Ghanaians, especially the youth, for such a distasteful act that has the propensity of changing the behaviour of our youth from good to bad and pledge to support and promote the health and well-being of all.”
“Smoking also increases the risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis and many more. The cost of treatment for these effects is very high, which sends the majority to their early graves and leads families into abject poverty. It is important to note that smokers have a high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to weak immune system as a result of smoking.”
While Asamoah-Baidoo reckons that Sarkodie could influence the youth to engage in smoking, he maintained that the approach of the CSOs is wrong.