Propagate, Don’t Escalate – By Abubakar Ibrahim
Why is it that we currently have a tendency to let conflict or misunderstanding escalate into violence? At the turn of the election year, there has been lots of unnecessary noise most of which ended up in violence. My mutton so far is why some politicians who we expect to know better will do anything despicable in the name of politics and some of the electorates will give their all including their lives fighting for some individual politicians or their party.
If we disagree with someone or something, can’t we just simply agree to disagree? No, it now appears that we must eradicate the opposition, as proven most recently by the fighting’s, shooting and killing at some polling stations in Northern Ghana and other parts of the country. The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is said to be doing it to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and they reverse is true.
When did we choose to ignore such teachings as respecting other divergent views, responsible utterances, anger control and management, conflict resolution, negotiation and compromise and decide it was just easier to pick up a quarrel and end up maiming someone? It seems that we now have a propensity to let our hatred or ignorance of another’s opinion, culture, religion, ethnic group or political affiliation fester to the boiling point!
Are we so closed-minded in our pursuit for political power? There were some mind boggling issues about the Mantse Agbonaa rallies which starred the big guns of the two populous parties in Ghana. First it was that of the NPP followed by the NDC.
Both of them unfortunately did their parties little honors in the name of sending a clear message of what they were about out there. First, the NPP was accused of going ballistic with insults on the first gentleman of the land as well as some members of his ministers and party stalwarts. This was said to have been done to make the NPP supporters’ look and feel good. Some of us were ashamed of people who knew better degrading and disgracing themselves.
They received a lot of flak for their unsavory languages and some had to bow their heads in shame and were made apologize ‘by force’. Just when you thought the NDC will take advantage of hindsight to do the right thing, some of their members also got overwhelmed by the occasion and did themselves and their party lots of disservice on the same platform. They also took ‘disadvantage’ to insult and respond to their political opponents.
The problem with this country right now is the difficulty of being in the middle and playing the devil’s advocate. Immediately any one party gets accused of misconduct, they run to the media, forget rented or not, to defend their silly discrediting conduct(s). Politics doesn’t make sense anymore and is constantly defying the commonsensical logic. For all my idiocy, I would rather someone comes to insult and malign you; you take advantage of them by stating your case nicely and telling the electorates what you intent to do with another term or when given power. Don’t wade into unnecessary insults.
But you see, good old since Public Relations and Business Communications used to sell any product and build a good brand and goodwill just doesn’t apply here. We have been made to believe that only the firebrand ballistic acerbic tongue wagging type of politics gets your supporters to know you are also good with the game. It makes news and gets lots of media coverage. Forget whether it sells your brand, party or sends any negative message at all. Being seen getting a go at whoever is enough!
We have witnessed with lots of shame respected ministers and members of political parties make big babies of themselves when invited on live programs. Do Anita De-Souzza, Frances Essiem and Ursula know better how to behave on air considering their knowledge in the political field, if we can credit them that; so they go on air and throw missiles at each other?
Isn’t it only polite that if they so much crave for our indulgence and attention while on air, they will respect us and behave themselves? Fast forwading the Metro TV incident was the Ursula close hair shave at Odododiodio in Accra. Much as I condemn what whoever did to Ursula if it did happen with the alacrity we were made to believe, I would as well take a swipe at Ursula. When you give your son or daughter’s hand in marriage, you don’t go teaching them how to have good sex in the open glare of everyone when you have not been asked to. You teach your son/daughter what you can before they marry, once they marry you allow them to make their mistakes and learn.
It is a very awkward example but isn’t someone charged with educating the public on their right to register and vote? It is unnecessary and very uncalled for if you ask me to risk your life carelessly if you value it.
Just like a bad horror movie, Kennedy Agyapong went on air in response to Ursula’s saga to dishonor himself. Then there were all sorts of drama that ensued. There was no telling his comments smacked of pushing the country into Rwanda-like ethnic cleansing, some party supporters and fanatics were quick to whip their support for this dishonorable comment from the honorable member of parliament. Are people romanticing war that much?
All these highlighted there is every need that Kobby Acheampong, Okudzeto, Baba Jamal, Tony Aidoo and other members of the ruling NDC who also come short of decent public speaking must also be very circumspect in their delivery. As party supporters, fanatics and social commentators are we not the same people who do the line by line analysis and give semantic meanings to some wordings? Then we find justification why those statements were just what the doctor ordered?
Now it is clear that our insatiable appetite for such speeches is being fed by politicians who won’t only propagate their ideas but would as well escalate situations when given our undivided attention. We take everything hook, line and sinker in our quest to be fed on some political incorrect crap of a speech like it is Moses reading the 10 Commandments all over again?
It is now up to us to decide who we listen to and who we give-talk-to-the-hand when they grace any media platform. If they don’t know where the line is drawn, we as the citizenry with a stake in building the country must shove it in their faces how unfunny and not so cool Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Kenya were. Do we feel the need to eliminate those whom we perceive might stand in our way of achieving that?
After all if the name your father gave you isn’t working the magic you expected in life you find yourself a new one without calling for a whole new ceremony. Ghana is all we have not NDC, NPP, PNC or any other!
*Thanks to David Duplesis for the advice and inputs.
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