Politics is ideas not insults


As a country that came from colonization many thought that our politics would be civil and responsible than before, as our democracy keeps growing from strength to strength, but that is not the case. Rather, is tempting us to remind ourselves of the dark days in our political history. 

As a former student leader and someone who sit on the fence with basic understanding of conceptual politics I have always held the belief that politics is competition of ideas and not insults. 

The academic discipline that describes how power is exercised, through the administration of public power, to manage citizens affairs may perhaps be termed politics. 

The recent development in our airwaves in relation to the politics of insult is in bad taste and I do not want to belabor it, we need to be shameful of ourselves. I’m very much worried about this phenomenon and I know every well meaning Ghanaian would also be concern about this, particularly when my 12-year-old junior brother came to ask me why there is so much insult on our radio station. I was embarrassed. While in all these, the media has been indispensable. The media should be seen as a powerful tool for education and as such must not be used for malice. 

As a celebrated country and the pride of African democracy, our politics should be issue centered rather than vitriolic attacks on personalities. However, it is very inappropriate to destroy a person’s hard earned reputation for money or parochial ends and we need to be conscious about that. 

In our daily lives we are faced with myriad of challenges – lack of good drinking water in our taps, hawkers on our street, inflation, reduction in the size of kenkey, poor services in our hospitals, lack of quality education in our schools which makes the people functionally illiterate and so on. Yet we digress from all these sensitive issues and we talk about how short or tall a presidential candidate is, how handsome or ugly another is, how sick or mad, “ntafoo koa”, “wonai chi a apai pai”, “kooko-ase kurasene”, “All die be die” among others. In my judgment, I think enough is enough; the sooner we nib it in the bud the better. We must wake up from our slumber and extricate ourselves from this journey of nowhere. 

I hold a firm opinion that, the best way to kill a tree is not to cut it branches but to dig out its roots. To me, the root of this problem has to do with unethical journalism. Discretion is the better part of valor. As the Prophet Mohammed wisely pointed out “Speak good (well) or be Silent”. 
Clearly, this means that if you have nothing meaningful to say, the best you could do is to humbly keep quiet. 

I recommend to the media editors to look for those mature people in our society who are inspirational to the youth, who set an exemplary good life for others to emulate, those who make sense in their discussions rather than noise. 

What can we do about this cancer that is impeding the growth of our democracy? 


First, there must be laws and regulations that will empower the media commission so that it can enforce professionalism in their modus operands. Second, the media profession must have ethical values far from political ideologies and organizations. We must end the practice of corrupting the press for partisan purposes. Third, media practitioners should exercise their freedom of expression through a high sense of responsibilities. 

Fourth, media practitioners require a lot of investment both in human resource and in technology to be able to offer an excellent job and reduce temptation from selfish politicians. 

Fifth, the media should censor putting reckless or “loose talks” on air. Again, the practitioners have to pluck up courage and dissuade foul mouth politicians who for some reasons best known to them spew insults on our air waves instead of substantive issues. 

As we are approaching the 2012 elections, I am urging all and sundry to be circumspect and discerning to eschew gullibility and apocalyptic consequences. However, the purpose of an election is to determine the will of the people who are voting. 

Consistent with these provisions, someday we shall move forward without doubt. 

Author: Tijani Kassim Abdallah
[email protected] com


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