President John Mahama has made a clarion call on chiefs to be bold and sort of name and shame foul mouth politicians who engage in mudslinging.
The President indicated that it was appalling and evening alarming when persons in responsible positions also indulge in the habit of insulting their political opponents.
President Mahama was responding to a call on him by the Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, aksing the President and his colleagues across the political divide to call their supporters to order when they make disparaging remarks about their political opponents.
The Okyenhene was at the Flagstaff House, the seat of government, with Eastern Regional House of Chiefs to pay a curtsey call on President Mahama on Tuesday.
The Okyenhene, who is the president of the regional house of chiefs, appeared worried about the level of insults in Ghana’s body politics and called on all to control the utterances against the elderly.
He asked all not to allow modernization to erode away the civilized manner they were brought up, and hoped the president would lead the way.
President Mahama was however emphatic and challenged him to re-direct his call to people, the President believes, are more guilty of using disparaging remarks, whom the president insists are well known by all.
“I am also happy about the point you made about people adopting insulting behavior, we know who those people are and I think the message should be addressed directly to them.
“Many of us have never insulted our political opponents ever in our lives, and we never will; you can count on us to be decent in our politics.
“But there are some individuals in our politics in this country who are in responsible positions, who at every step of the way are insulting the political opponents, and we know them. And so I think that Nananom (chiefs) should feel bold to identify them and address the message directly to these people and ask them to be cautious in the way they go about their politics.”
President Mahama also felt disturbed in the sense that “week on and week on, rallies are held, the president is insulted, every decent person is insulted in this country”.
In responding to an earlier appeal by the Okyenhene for all to respect and accept the Supreme Court’s decision on the petition by Nana Akufo-Addo and two NPP leaders, President Mahama stated: “We all have sworn to abide by the constitution and so there is no doubt about that obligation in this matter.”
But NPP Communications Director, Nana Akomea told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story that even though it is good for the President and other political actors to pledge their desire to comply with the outcome of the petition, “it should not be a matter of choice to agree or to abide by what the Supreme Court decides because it is final – it is the law”.
Touching on politics of insult, he claimed it was “disingenuous” on the part of the President to absolve his party from the act, insisting that disparaging remarks have come from all sides. It is therefore an exercise that should engage everybody “in the business of decrying insulting language in our politics”, he said.
Meanwhile, Nana Osei Nyarko III, Vice President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs told Joy FM’s Top Story that the chiefs went to the Flagstaff House on their own “volition”, and “we are satisfied” with the responses given by the president.