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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Columnist: Agyemang, Frank

Politics of Insults…….the President must take action

Politics of insults has become the order of the day and the cheapest means for one to become popular. Just go out there, organise a press conference or call a reporter and say some nasty things about the President John Evans Atta Mills or the leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akuffo-Addo and you are sure of making the headlines in both the print and electronic media.

Be assured that most electronic media houses (radio) will do live interviews and give you the platform to say all you wanted to and even ask leading questions to elicit more venom. All you have to do is to be prepared with justifications or reasons for the insults and bingo you are the man. No matter how nasty that insult is and to whomever it is directed, you are certain to have cohorts who will go all out to support and defend you. He who insults most gets more publicity and rides on the back of that to push his or her political interest. I am yet to see a deliberate practical action by either President John Evans Atta Mills or Nana Akuffo—Addo to show their commitment towards eliminating this canker of insults from our politics. Don’t count for me the number of times the President had spoken against it because I am really losing count of that. From where I sit, I can also call for a stop to the insults just as others who had also expressed their worries. The difference lies in the President’s ability to punish his appointees and call his own people to order. President Mills is in the best position to influence and affect his appointees, and once that is done, other representatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would be cautious.

The best person to lead the crusade against insults and intemperate language is the President and not the clergy. I believe in the President and want to see some proof of his dislike for the political insults. I want action and not words because we all know ‘talk is cheap’.

Nana Akuffo-Addo, the NPP’s flagbearer could also use his position to issue a directive to the party’s representatives on media programmes to stop the insults. It is all about ‘action’ and not ‘talks’.

Most often, the insulters are those who lack facts and figures to support their line of arguments and could not stand the public embarrassment. It takes a matured person to withstand all forms of provocations and remain focused on subject of debate. Naturally, such a person wins public admiration and convinces discerning Ghanaians.

Both the NPP and NDC are blaming each other for either starting the insults or provoking the other in the course of political discourse. The earlier they realise that insults don’t win votes the better it would be for them.

Frank Agyemang agyemangfrank@gmail.com