Opinions of Sun, 7 Aug 20161
An aide memoire, public communication and rise of movements
Most English Language words or phrases are French – a language of love, thus the saying, “speak English, study law and kiss French”.
The dust doesn’t seem to be settling on the Montie trio: petitions have been written and presented, anti and pro-movements have arisen and the President is in dilemma, hence this article.
Every leader must be good at one thing – communication. President John Dramani Mahama has this wit. President John Dramani Mahama during his time as MP, Bole-Bamboi spent time to express his views constructively on various matters: governance, corruption, economy, lifestyle and the media.
“Mahama’s Hammer” and ‘Hammering “Mahama’s Hammer”. The former was the title of Mr. John Mahama’s newspaper column and the latter was an article by Calus Von Brazi. Calus Von Brazi acknowledged how constructively Mr. Mahama expressed his views in his column.
The President is in Dilemma (October 23, 2003). This article referred to how then President Kufuor was in dilemma as to how to implement his declaration for zero tolerance of corruption. The above article gave pieces of information about perceived notions of corruption and it expressed views about how President Kufuor and his administration portrayed themselves as saints, and as such had no skeletons of corruption in their cupboards.
In that article, Mr. John Mahama stated that, Papa Owusu Ankomah, then Minister of Justice and Attorney General, had declared that there’s no corruption in the NPP administration and all the allegations of corruption were orchestrations of political opponents. The author further expressed his view that the tolerance or otherwise of corruption is determined by the diligence and quickness of the authorities in dealing with the allegation.
It is normal to be in dilemma. Certainly, Mr. John Dramani Mahama is in dilemma: he’s torn between interfering in another arm of government in the name of party members and letting the contemnors to the wolves to uphold the sanctity of the justice system. What will he do?
Hammering Mahama’s Hammer (October 25, 2003). This was an article that followed after the article, “The President is in Dilemma” In this article, Calus Von Brazi spoke loftily of Mr. John Dramani Mahama, then MP, Bole-Bamboi. He described him as follows: the darling of the media, objectivity personified, and threat to the NPP. In fact, in 2008 he was really a torn in the flesh of the NPP.
Mr. John Dramani Mahama didn’t threaten the lives of judges who sat on matters that involved his colleagues who were standing trial for one supposed crime or the other against the state. Mr. Mahama set the bar high in his discourses both on radio and in his articles.
With all these praises, will Mr. President condone the lawless acts of indiscipline by some of his party members? I am certain that the spots on the leopard will not change, not even with the desire to get internal party support for a second term will cause that.
It is an act that is guided by ethical theories. Theories are abstract unless they are practicalised. The ethics that guide the act of communicating publicly include: Aristotle’s Golden Mean Principle, Emmanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative (Deontology), Mills Principle of Utility (Teleology): Judeo-Christian philosophy and Rawl’s Veil of Ignorance: (Contractualism).
These theories define how analysis of communication should be done. Each of these theories is based on morality in the following ways: reasonable and rational actions, sense of duty and universality, seeking the interest of the greatest number, the concept of love for one another and justice without fear or favour.
The above really comes to play when political communicators see their political opponents as fellow Ghanaians; hence maligning, slandering or lynching them does not enhance peaceful co-existence. In an article, Of free speech and Presidential Courtesis (September 18, 2003), then MP, Bole-Bamboi Mr. John Mahama stated how Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, then MP, Wenchi East was nearly lynched because he criticised the then government’s cocoa spraying exercise - a case of political indiscipline.
There’s the need to take political discourse on radio and television to the next level – a sense of respect for one another and state institutions, objectivity and truthfulness, and stating a party’s view on national policies rather than doing a hatchet job on political opponents.
The Rise of Movement
The jailing of the Montie Trio sparked two groups – those who wish the trio be pardoned and those who’re against it. It’s democracy. It’s beautiful. The movement for the pardon of the trio is seeking one million signatures and the others are seeking two million.
All said and done, Tinny once said, “be ni tsina kpe jwe be mi kwe” to wit, “I’m watching as the cow chews grass”
The writer is a freelance journalist.