Editorial

Stop politics of insult. It is shameful!

Since 1992 when the country returned to constitutional democracy and during every political season, we witness the use of intemperate languages in inter-party political discourse in Ghana.

The main political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to a large extent are the main culprits. The supporters of these two political parties have often traded insults and attacked one other at the least opportunity.

Although well-meaning Ghanaians have spoken against these shameful practices, political actors continue to trade insults during every political campaign circle thus, denting the country’s democratic principles.

As always, the country is less than six months from another major election and supporters of the two main parties have started raining insults on each other, even on live TV and radio programmes.

Indeed, the insults have reached a crescendo following the nomination of Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, as the running mate of former President John Dramani Mahama, on the ticket of the opposition NDC.

The NPP was the first to throw a salvo at the nominee hours after her selection was announced by organising a press conference aimed at downplaying her capability to help the NDC return to power.

Other members of the party used different platforms including social media to denigrate her. The NDC has also responded in equal measure through press conferences and other platforms.

Supporters of both parties are still trading insults on social media. In the ensuing banter, respected politicians are losing their self-respect and undermining their positions.

It comes as no surprise that at the moment, some political party communicators are compiling the defamatory comments to use when they get the platform.

It is a disgrace that these two parties have chosen this path of politicking. In this age and time, it is expected that there would be decorum in their attempt to woo voters.

Indeed, no party can list its ability to insult as part of its achievement. So why do our parties waste time on mudslinging? In the several years of our democracy, what have we achieved with this kind of politics?

We need to stop this trend now. It is a dent on the democracy which we pride ourselves in as the most peaceful on the continent. Our political parties must stick to issues and argue their points respectably.

The leadership of all should let their ages and academic credentials reflect in their utterances and their campaigns. They must not look on for their party members to dent the image of their parties.

It is never true that politicians must be loud, aggressive and abusive. It is an unchecked trait that becomes a norm and it is possible to change it and run clean campaigns.

The 2020 election should not be a battle of insults. It should be a battle of records. That is what will convince people to choose one party over the other. Vilifying each other will not grant us the peaceful election we deserve.

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