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Opinions of Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Columnist: Arthur Kobina Kennedy, Dr.

Arthur Kennedy Writes: The politics of rumours

This week, it is Allotey Jacobs. Last week, it was someone else. Next week, it will be someone else. This all started when a post went viral that Mr. Jacobs, the NDC Central region Chair had been arrested at Heathrow airport, on his way to the US.

The post was denied, both by his associates and the British High Commission. I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw the HC denial.

I thanked God for his sake. It seems many people were unhappy that he had been cleared. The gentlemanly this for those who started the rumour, after it was denied by the High Commission, would have been a withdrawal and an apology. But they are doubling down. The media has moved on to whether he was in first class to economy, etc.

I thank God for Mr. Jacobs and his family. Because I have been the subject of similar baseless rumours before. I remember friends calling to ask whether I was under arrest or my physician license had been suspended, because some unemployed ignoramuses, at the behest of some irresponsible elders were peddling baseless rumours about me.

Of course, I know that if the shoe was on the other foot, some irresponsible people in the NDC would be doing the same. That however, does not make it right.

This politics of vindictiveness must stop. We should stop destroying people because of political differences.

Even if the arrest had been true, I am at a loss to see how that would implicate the NDC in money laundering or drugs. After all, the arrest of a sitting MP, Amoateng, did not make the NPP a drug party. Also, the arrests of Benneh, Nayele and others did not make the NDC a drug party. Indeed, even proof that a flag-bearer has used or dealt in drugs should not tar a whole party.

We should hold people, not parties responsible for their criminal or moral failings.When the NDC and NPP accuse each other of drugs and money laundering based on the misdeeds of a few, they darken the reputations of many good people. And they undermine the fight against drugs.

Let the parties argue about drug policy and collaborate on the fight against drugs, for the sake of mother Ghana.

And let us thank God, on behalf of Mr. Jacobs and his family. God bless you all and Ghana.

Arthur K