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Ghanaian Traditional Ruler Cautions Against Campaign Insults

  • Peter Clottey

In Ghana, the Omanhene [king] of the New Juaben Traditional Area has called on Ghanaians to reject politicians who insult their opponents in the campaigns leading up to the scheduled December general election.

Daasebre Oti Boateng, who is also president of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, says the country needs to keep the peace in order to strengthen Ghana’s democratic process.

“Unless and until there is peace and tranquility in the body politic, we cannot progress. Going forward does not depend on insults, because we are too matured as a nation, to make insults the platform for politicking. In fact we want issues to be at the forefront of debates rather than insults,” Oti Boateng said.

“All politicians who heap insults on [others] mean they don’t have anything at all to offer," he added. "Those who have something to offer will dwell on the issues and Ghanaians are matured enough to sift through the issues and make informed judgment.”

Political parties have resumed their activities after putting their campaigns on hold following the sudden death last month of President John Atta-Mills.

Ghanaians will be casting their ballots in the presidential, parliamentary and local elections in December.

Oti Boateng said citizens should not allow any politician to undermine the country’s peace and stability in the run up to the balloting.

“I am calling on all Ghanaians to reject all those who are dwelling on politics of insults [because] that should not be our portion,” he said.

Oti-Boateng said there is need for partisans to desist from violence.

“I have seen firsthand what the real lack of peace can do to destroy a nation,” he said.

Meanwhile, newly sworn-in President John Mahama is scheduled to meet with Oti Boateng Wednesday as his ruling National Democratic Congress prepares for the elections. President Mahama says his administration will ensure this year’s vote is peaceful.

Oti Boateng said he will keep reminding presidential aspirants who come to his traditional area to advise their supporters not to engage in violence.

“Fortunately, the new president of Ghana is going to come here on Wednesday, and I will also tell him about this because I have to make truth the cornerstone of my philosophy. We must abide by the truth and once I speak the truth, I will always be with the center because I cannot err,” said Oti Boateng.

“With this, I am better enabled to advise all of them and they have to take this advice in good faith because it is for the welfare of our country. So I am going to do precisely that without any evasion or equivocation, whatsoever.”