Yesterday, President Mills said the growing insults in our country are not good for our country’s development. He made this statement two and a half years after he appointed those who were loudest in defaming his main opponent in 2008 to be the men and women to help him prosecute his better Ghana agenda.
The President’s latest words of piety against insults came a day after a young man was arrested and released for allegedly returning insults on the NPP Presidential Candidate with similar insults against the President. He accused the President of an offence as abominable as the one that the NDC hails against Nana Akufo-Addo with utmost liberty.
Before that, the President in launching his campaign for the NDC congress of last July called for a campaign without insults. He said this after activists for his opponent at the time, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, accused him of impotence and acting like a reckless Yutong bus driver. Even as he was warning against insults, members of his campaign team were using the same platform to add insults to former President Rawlings’ injuries.
Before that, the last time President Mills spoke against insults was when a newspaper editor accused him of being a chronic alcoholic when he was a lecturer at the University of Ghana, attributing his blackened palms to side effects of years of alcohol abuse.
Before that, the President had spoken against the culture of insults. This was when a key player in his 2008 campaign alleged that Ato Ahwoi, the President’s main man, had described Prof Mills in 2007 as delusional, which his opponents easily translated to Ghanaians as meaning insane, mad, crazy.
What the trend above shows is that, to President Mills, insults are okay until insults cause him personal injury. The irony is that the NDC has a leader who does not have a thick skin for the kind of sewer politics his lieutenants prefer to indulge in against others. He does not hear it when such insults and lies are hurled against his opponents. Even when he hears it he does not act against it.
It is now more than clear to him that members of the Young Patriot, a group of no-nonsense educated NPP youth, have had it up to their tether and have taken off the gloves to face opponents who are boxing bare-knuckle with no regard to the Queensbury rules. They are living up to their unfortunate but understandable threat that they would meet fire with fire, insult with insult. And, the President is feeling the pain from the mere shrapnel from their first assault.
President Mills has it within his powers to put an end to this culture of insults. This is because it is orchestrated and sang by a very small but vociferous group of spokespersons of his party/government. The President can very easily turn off the switch that gives power to their public announcement (PA) system of vile propaganda.
Hitherto, he had not seen the need to do so. In fact, the insults helped him. The programmed refrain of him being God-fearing, humble and sincere and his opponent a flawed man in whose hands Ghana would not be saved served Mills well. He had forgotten that his opponents could also go to the same raw material base and manufacture the kind of negative attributes that his people tagged his opponent with.
If President Mills had any doubts it must be clear to him by now that lies and insults are going for free in the open market of political communication. They are there to be picked by political retailers who have no shame or who have been forced by years of abuse to pay back their abusers in their own familiar currency.
We endorse Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey’s challenge to the President. If he says he is against insults then let him show the way for once.
There is more to politics than lies and insults. Our presidential candidates, regardless of which party they belong, deserve our collective respect. Let us elevate our political discourse and focus our antennae on the kenkey and fish issues.
Source: The Statesman
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