Let’s shame and reject those who make unguarded statements

Author: Daily Graphic
President John Dramani Mahama

It is now certain that this year’s elections will come off on December 7, which means we barely have four months to Election Day.

As is the norm in every election year, candidates contesting for the presidency or vying for parliamentary seats will hit the campaign trail, with each trying to outdo the others for maximum votes on the D-day.

Sadly, however, instead of debating on national issues of concern to all Ghanaians and proffering solutions to the myriad of challenges plaguing the country, candidates and especially their spokespersons resort to insults and vitriolic attacks on their opponents.

But unfavourable comments about people always engender strife and disturb the peace of the political season.

The Daily Graphic posits that although we are in the home stretch of this year’s elections, it does not call for insults of opponents and their political parties or families.

If we must enjoy clean elections, it will have to start with clean electioneering and debate on national issues and not undesirable comments that are only bound to cause disaffection and result in violence.

We urge the electorate, as well as political party leadership, to resist any unguarded statements by politicians, as President John Mahama admonished the people of Mepe when they celebrated their Afenorto Festival last Saturday. 

The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, when closing the Second Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, hit the nail on the head when he advised Members of Parliament (MPs) against attacking constitutional bodies in the country, as such attacks could cause the citizenry to lose confidence in governance institutions, undermine the country's democratic credentials and lead to instability.

The Daily Graphic adds that the leadership of all political parties must not stay silent when any of their members go vitriolic on other persons in the heat of campaigning.

Rather, the leadership must publicly dissociate themselves from such statements, shame, rebuke and disown the members to serve as a deterrent to others. Leaders who themselves use intemperate language must not be spared either.

We also urge the electorate not to be swayed by the handouts given to them by politicians to vote for them but weigh campaign messages and shun those who breathe hell and hailstone at political rallies but clearly show that they do not have anything to offer the people.

Elections are not ‘do-or-die’ affairs and we must not allow any individual or group of persons to hold the country to ransom through careless remarks just because they want to win power.