Politics of insults should give way to contest of ideas!

Insults are socially unacceptable behaviour that causes embarrassment and disgrace to the person it is directed at and that is why it is frowned upon in the civilised world.

But this unacceptable behaviour is exhibited everyday by ordinary people and disturbingly by the political actors in the country.

In fact, in the past few years, politics in Ghana has become a discourse of personal attack, vilification, and insults.

Political opponents have, over the years, grown comfortable in trading abusive words and intemperate language especially on media platforms.

Rightly so, this has provoked an extraordinary public concern on the recent surge of insults in the political landscape.

For many years, scores of concerned Ghanaians have expressed their abhorrence to insults traded by politicians campaigning for political power but the practice persists.

Various media platforms are filled every day with unsavoury comments by politicians against each other which are threatening to derail the achievements chalked so far.

Some of the concerns are from the media, civil society, academia, leaders of political parties, chiefs, and opinion leaders, among others.

They have, in the past, condemned and led advocacy campaigns to shame politicians who engage in this growing canker in the country’s body politics.

Unfortunately, the practice persist with no end in sight. Although Ghana has an enviable democratic credentials as compared to other countries in the West Africa sub-region, politics of insult continue to threaten this achievement.

It is for this reason that we applaud the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for counselling the New Patriotic Party communicators to ensure that this year’s election campaign is devoid of gender, religious or ethnic sentiments.

 In a virtual meeting with members of the communications team over the weekend, President Akufo-Addo said tribal, religious and gender sentiments would not help the party’s course.

“We should be looking at all-time records and competencies. The election should be a discussion on competencies,” he said.

Indeed, we share the President’s position, particularly his admonition that the election campaign should be devoid of gender, religious or ethnic sentiments.

 For us, the advice is timely because political actors have in the past carelessly attacked each other in very sensitive areas that do not auger well for national unity and peaceful co-existence.

We pray that all politicians would embrace the admonition and engage in politics of ideas instead of insults and careless talks.

It is our hope that politicians who do not belong to the NPP would not see the President’s advice as directed only at NPP communicators but to all those who speak on political platforms across the country.

In fact, what all well-meaning Ghanaians are calling for is issue based campaign as the country inches up towards the December 2020 elections. There must be no more insults on campaign or media platforms and the focus must be on “bread and butter” issues.

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