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Opinions of Sunday, 4 February 2007

Columnist: Afeku, Catherine

Let Us Respect The Office Of The Presidency

I woke up to the Kokroko talk show (Peace FM-104.3) this morning and I must say that I was totally shocked with the manner in which Mr. Kwesi Prat denigrated the office of the Presidency. As a young Ghanaian determined to stay positive and supportive of our government’s achievements, (regardless of who is in power) I was disgusted with his utterances.

The fact that he is not an NPP sympathizer does not make him less of a Ghanaian. The President’s ascendancy to the AU chair is a feat for all Ghanaians to be proud of (regardless of your party affiliation). For him to attempt to discard the importance of such a historical milestone was so out of line and below civility.

I respect Mr. Pratt as a journalist and as a matter of fact admire his stance on topics that requires objectivity, but being critical all the time even when the occasion calls for national celebration of our president’s AU chairmanship is out of line. I am not an English major but I do know for a fact that there is a big difference between, consensus and compromise and his attempt to use English semantics to water down the importance of this glorious milestone was cheap and unprofessional.

Not all of us were in Addis Ababa, but the news that came out said emphatically that His Excellency President Kufuor was unanimously chosen to chair the AU. This was not a mere token position, he was chosen out of 52 other leaders. The fact that Mr. Al Bashir was passed over because of his stance on the Dafur crisis tells me that there is a selection criteria (rotation or not).

A respected man of the opposition party (NDC) really showed decorum when he congratulated the President. That is what I was hoping to hear from Mr. Pratt a patriotic citizen. I was really expecting Mr. Pratt to extol the virtues and vision of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who was the first to chair of OAU from Ghana and to pave the way for General Ankrah and now our President His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor.

I can assure you Mr. Pratt, you lost my respect this morning and I am confident I am not alone in sharing this sentiment. Let us respect the office of the Presidency with our utterances even as we exercise our right to freedom of expression so we will become role models for our children who will inherit Ghana when we are dead and gone.

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