Ursula glad for ‘toning down’ fiery language

Outspoken Communications Minister-designate is glad to have toned down on her fiery political discourse which she credits to a course she undertook.

Ursula Gifty Owusu Ekuful said the course at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) opened her eyes to how people unwittingly lead themselves into some dangers through their actions and utterances.

“It helped me to sit back and tone down a bit…pause a bit more before jumping into the fray,” she told Parliament’s Appointments Committee Wednesday when she took her turn at the vetting. 

The Ablekuma West Member of Parliament (MP) is known for her no-nonsense posture. She has taken on functionaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for some actions she believed were not in the interest of the country.

Mrs Ekuful was reported to have said on Accra-based Okay FM in 2012, that she was troubled by the fact that some personality from the three regions of the North have shown opposition to the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) free senior high school (SHS) policy.

He received backlash from some youth groups in the Northern Region for branding all “northerners cattle rearers.”

Group – Coalition of Northern Youth Groups, demanded an unqualified apology from the MP for making comments it claimed portrayed people of the three regions of the North as “second class citizens.”

Also, in January 2013, former Majority leader Alban Bagbin described as unfortunate, the verbal altercation that occurred between the MP and her colleague Nanton MP Murtala Muhammed.

The two who were then first-time MPs were reported to have charged at each other amidst hot verbal exchanges after their discussion on Accra-based Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana Programme.

Asked by MP for Lawra Anthony Abayifi Karbo if she regrets her past utterances, under a tone considered earnest, she said, “I am sure in our much somber moments there are incidents you would much rather not done.”

“In the heat of battle when you are facing an onslaught you must fire a few salvos whole you scurry for cover,” she quickly added.

Mrs Ekuful said it is important political actors take steps to reduce the political heat even in the heat of the political battle for power. “If you open the door we would all walk through it but sometimes we need to restrain ourselves.”

The former boss of Zain now Airtel said the cordial manner in which MPs from opposing sides relate with each other in parliament should resonate and be extended outside parliament for the supporters to know they are not enemies.

“We sink or swim together. Ghana has space for all of us and so we should all be able to live together,” she said.

“We really need to build bridges and stop the punch me and I punch you,” a calm Mrs Ekuful said. “We can argue passionately but lets draw the line at drawing blood, sometimes we tend to overdo it and I am as guilty of as the next person.”

When asked by MP for Tamale South Haruna Iddrisu if she would not repeat such an attitude, Mrs Ekuful said, “an acidic tongue to a very ministerial diplomatic Ursula and for that matter if there were any sin that her tongue committed knowingly or unknowingly she should be forgiven.”