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Politics of Wednesday, 9 September 2020


Politics of insults and name calling not new – Kobby Mensah

Political communication strategist, Dr Kobby Mensah has said the ongoing trend of political insults coupled with ethnocentric comments on the part of politicians in the country in the run-up to the December 7 polls is not a new phenomenon.

According to him, though the trend remains a canker which must be purged in order to achieve a sane political atmosphere, it has also become a dominant feature in the country’s politics.

However, he maintains that not all the name-calling in political discourses over the years can be ruled as outrightly negative.

Reacting to a recent back and forth between former president John Dramani Mahama and sitting President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in an interaction with GhanaWeb, he posited that “I don’t think this is different from what we have been experiencing in the political system…”

“…Name-calling is one of the approaches politicians use in describing the actions of their opposing teams. Sometimes they also use it positively…President Kufuor was named the gentle giant as a way to contrast his characteristic and his demeanour…,” he added.

Also making reference to the tenure of the erstwhile NDC government, he said the president then, John Dramani Mahama endured similar instances of name-calling from other main opposition party then, NPP.

“…name-calling is a key feature of political campaigning and in the past, we’ve seen weird names that the opposition then attributed to president Mahama and of course President Atta Mills was also given names. I don’t think name-calling is any new thing in our system.”

A few days ago, former president John Dramani Mahama endorsed an article by his compatriot, Isaac Adongo, member of parliament for Bolgatanga Central which seemed to suggest that the controversial Agyapa deal was a State Capture scheme orchestrated by President Akufo-Addo and his relatives in his government.

He specifically named them “the Akyem mafias and Sakawa boys” with his title “Agyapa Royalties Fraud Is The Last Straw: The Akyem Sakawa Boys and Grandpas Must Go.''

However, this attribution and subsequent endorsement did not sit well with president Akufo-Addo who in a sharp rebuttal said it was a shame for such comments to be endorsed by a former president who is seeking re-election.

He said; “The comment made by my opponent: ‘Akyem Sakawa’ people, I have not heard any public figure in this country or anybody comment on it...If I was to get up to make a comment about northerners or Gonjas, you can imagine the uproar that will be in the country…”

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