SONA: Shun insults, partisanship! Mahama urges

President John Mahama is unhappy with what he says is the rising level of partisanship which is threatening the country’s democracy.

He said whilst opposition and differences in political opinions are vital to the health and growth of the country it cannot be done at the detriment of the well being of the country.

He was speaking at his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament, Thursday, two days to his official handing over to the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Akufo-Addo who won a resounding victory in the December 7 election.

In a conciliatory tone the president called for unity of purpose, warning, the cancerous nature of the country’s partisanship will not bode well for anybody.

“Partisanship for its own sake in the end is no better than dictatorship. When we look around the world, we can so clearly see the deep divide that blind partisanship is creating with democracies that are even far older than ours.

“We can see through the divide that is threatening to create in ours if we are not careful. Already it is taking a toll on our morale and sense of optimism.

“It has given way to a cynicism that is as dangerous to the incoming political party as it is to the in-coming administration.

President Mahama’s tenure like the ones before him was not without a barrage of criticisms and sometimes insult.

As members of the opposition parties mixed criticism with insults  and targeted the outgoing officials, they in turn, especially those referred to as the ‘babies with sharp teeth’ hurled back criticism, and insults in equal measure.

But the president said such insults have no place in the country’s democracy.

“You cannot afford as a nation to wish or hope for the failure of any president or his government. Ensuring accountability is not the same as leveling insult or encouraging apathy,” the president said.

The president proceeded to call on the MPs to build consensus in the house and hoped it will lead to the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill.

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