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14.02.2009 Editorial

Reckless political talk

By The Statesman

Some politicians in the country have gained an unfortunate reputation for making reckless and irresponsible statements on various platforms without adequately considering the consequences of their words and actions.

To such politicians, the end justifies the means, so long as the statements they make, factual or not, advance their parochial partisan interests, any body else's interests and concerns are immaterial.

It is therefore not surprising, though quite sad, to hear a leading political figure describing the flagbearership contest of a rival political party as a contest among thieves meant to elect "the biggest thief."

This statement from Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, was one of such irresponsible statements made during last year's electioneering campaign.

Then came the issue of tagging the New Patriotic Party as a "cocaine party", an agenda which was championed by the likes of Ama Benyiwa-Doe and Fiifi Kwetey.

To Betty Mould-Iddrisu, there was nothing wrong in describing Ghanaian courts as "Kangaroo Courts" because a court of competent jurisdiction following the due process of adjudication had clapped a key NDC member into jail.

These and other statements constituted part of the grand design by the then opposition NDC to paint the then ruling NPP black, as part of their desire to win power.

The Statesman finds it very intriguing when these same politicians turn round to ask the good people of Ghana to forgive them for making such highly irresponsible and dangerous statements because they were made during the heat of the electioneering campaign.

We are happy that at long last both Ama Benyiwa-Doe and Betty Mould-Iddrisu admitted to the recklessness and irresponsibility of the statements they had previously made on the political platform when the duo appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting as ministerial nominees.

The admission by Betty Mould-Iddrisu that she was not going to operate in "Kangaroo Courts" as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice settled the matter, that the erstwhile NPP government after all did not turn the Ghanaian courts into "Kangaroo Courts," as she had previously sought to make the entire world believe.

The situation was also the same in the case of Ama Benyiwa-Doe who, after making huge political capital out of the cocaine menace in the country, admitted before the entire nation that the cocaine issue was not exclusively related to the NPP, but rather was a national issue.

While asking pardon for those statements, both political heavyweights of the ruling NDC sought to draw a distinction between what they called political talk and ordinary talk, so to speak.

The obvious question that arises out of this situation is whether politicians do not care about the national interest when they mount the political platform.

In their desire to create the false impression that the previous NPP government left behind a collapsed economy, and to further find excuses for the likely inability to deliver on its electoral promises, the NDC economic transition team issued a statement describing the national economy as "broke."

The Statesman is happy that the entire nation, especially the NDC government, has been witnesses to the dire consequence that irresponsible, political statement has had on the national economy within the couple of weeks the NDC assumed the reigns of government.

It is our hope that all politicians will learn good lessons from the experiences of Ama Benyiwa-Doe and Betty Mould-Iddrisu and allow their utterances, whether on the political platform or not, to be guided by a high degree of decorum and civility, while at the same time placing the national interest above partisan political interest.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."