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Notes from the Ghanaman File: Politicians must watch what they say!

Some of the inscriptions on the placards by the NPP

”I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”Matt 12:36-37

”Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble”.Prov 21:23

My father told us when we were young that if you were summoned before a chief, three things should run through your mind leading to asking three questions. First, he said; ask your mouth whether you have not said anything you shouldn’t have said to slander anybody.

According to my oldman,the next step is to ask your hand whether consciously or unconsciously you have not  taken what does not belong to you. The third and last question would then be about your sexual escapede.This is where you ponder over whether you have trespassed with somebody’s wife or husband. We were advised therefore to be careful of these three areas of our lives which could lead us into trouble. Great wisdom to guide our tongues, not to steal and to zip up our pants and not to drop our trousers and skirts with careless abandon!

As we inch towards the December elections I’m seeing two of the three points coming up in the national discourse. Corruption has become a very sore point in the campaigns as usual with the opposition pointing fingers at the incumbent Government’s candidate as a corrupt figure leading a corrupt Government and not qualified to be entrusted with state resources for another four years.

In rebuttals, Government and ruling party spokespersons try to also point out some past corruption related issues against the opponents who have previously been in Government like Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom.

Last week, the spoken words of President Mahama on a campaign platform about Dr Bawumia and his future in the NPP and an alleged statement said in secret some years ago by Nana Addo seem to have come back to bite the two leading candidates. The president was said to have made some ethnocentric statements about how the NPP will never allow a non-Akan like Dr Bawumia to lead their party. With condemnations from sections of the public and civil society organizations, with some of them calling on the president to retract and apologise, suddenly, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Namibia, Haruna Ata pops up to share a conversation he had with Nana Addo in the past in trying to justify what the president said  and to get an equalization.

It’s amazing how politicians try to justify things; whether good or bad. They make it look like it’s ok to do anything wrong once your opponent does same. That is very strange because they strive to gain power to apply rules in governing the country. How do they bring equity when they have no clean hands?

For me, the need for politicians to guide their mouth is paramount if they do not want to have their own words coming back to bite them or haunt them in seasons like these. But they sometimes try to hide under the unjustifiable excuse that they are political talk! So we should agree that they have several talks? Where do we draw the line between the ‘talks’?

It is said that the Ghanaian voter has become more sophisticated and more discerning. We must pop Champaign to that! So how would the words of our presidential and parliamentary candidates affect voting patterns this year?

We live to see.

kojo-ackaah-kwartengBy Kojo Ackaah-Kwarteng

Head of Station,Onua 95.1

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