General News of Thu, 23 Aug 201854
Stammerers descend on Bagbin over ‘offensive comments’
The Ghana Stammering Association has described as unfortunate comments by a National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential aspirant, Alban Bagbin, that Dr Omane Boamah stammers and as a result, wasn’t fit for the job of a communications minister.
Mr. Bagbin is reported to have told party communicators in the Volta Region that former President John Mahama made a bad decision by appointing Dr Edward Omane Boamah as Communications Minister because he stammers.
These are the comments he made:
“If you are not whole can you be a chief or a queen mother? So when you form a government and make the Minister for Chieftaincy a blind person and the chiefs are objecting and you don’t change it, what are you telling the chiefs? These are facts I am stating. I have not added anything. You all know it but you may not have appreciated the impact of what happened. And when some of us are close and can foresee it and we see it, then you are somewhere and you are telling people to insult us.
“It is not a chief that speaks, it is a linguist. So if you are a leader you must have a very good linguist. When Prof [Evans Atta Mills] was in power, Haruna Iddrisu was our linguist – in charge of communication. When our brother John came to power, he substituted him for Dr Omane, who is a natural stammerer. Who is a natural stammerer. He is a very intelligent boy. Smart. But when he is speaking he wastes time in coming out. Ghanaians don’t have that much patience.”
But President of the Stammers Association, Elias Apraku has described Mr Bagbin’s comments as offensive and has, therefore, called on him to retract and apologise immediately.
According to him, stammering just distracts a person’s flow of speech but does not affect intellectual abilities and therefore Mr Bagbin cannot use it as a yardstick to judge one’s competence.
“Stammerers are very angry and we see his comments as very unfortunate. Being a stammerer does not affect one’s intellectual abilities and so he should come again. He has really insulted us and must, therefore, retract and apologise to us,” he said on Accra based Neat FM monitored by Adomonline.com.
Elias Apraku noted that the attack on the former minister could only discourage many stammerers from going into politics and public service.