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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Public Decries Misuse Of ‘Honourable’


Certain opinion leaders in the country have taken strong exception to the reckless use of the title ‘honourable’ by people who by appropriate application of their designation do

not merit it.

They questioned the legitimacy of the usage of the title for people who have not been elected by the citizens of this country to occupy high public offices.

In a recent interview with the paper, Alex Asabre, President of the former Ghana Democratic Movement (GDM) based in the UK blamed the situation on the media particularly the radio stations.

He warned the media to be circumspect in ensuring proper application of the title to refer to people for whom it was created to avoid confusion in the socio-political system of the country. In many democratic countries, Mr. Asabre noted the title is often used for elected MPs or legislators, presidents, vice-presidents and sometimes ministers of state.

He rubbished the ascription of the title to mayors, District Chief Executives (DCE), doctors, pastors, chairmen of political parties and clubs as well as assembly members.

“Many of these people in the country have become proud because the media wrongfully call them ‘honourable’ for cheap popularity and this is detrimental to the larger society as these people tend to think they are superior to the rest of us,” he lamented.

He argued that even in the British House of Commons or House of Lords, as in other lower houses of parliament and other legislatures, members refer to each other as ‘honourable’ members out of courtesy, despite the fact that they are not entitled to the style in writing. “When members are barristers they will instead be referred to as the ‘learned member’ with serving members of the military of the rank of major and above styled as ‘gallant member.’” he argued.

Mr. Asabre noted that as Ghana’s democracy is deepening and growing, there is an urgent need for the media to educate the populace about what is right and refrain from wrongful usage of the title.

He passionately appealed to ministers of state who are obsessed with the title to be modest and avoid carrying themselves too high. When reached for comment via telephone, Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame and Minority leader described the trend as rather unfortunate and laughable.

He said traditionally the style ‘honourable’ was used to refer to elected MPs, ministers of state and deputy ministers.

But lately District Chief Executives, Municipal Chief Executives and Metropolitan Chief Executives and assembly members by virtue of their election are also called “honourable,” he added. The MP expressed disappointment about the indiscriminate use of the title by all manner of people including even CEOs of private businesses.

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