Former President Jerry Rawlings on Tuesday took to social media to register his own abhorrence for the use of intemperate language in Ghanaian political discourse.
Rawlings condemned threats on ex-President John Mahama, and commended the people of Kyebi for standing up against foul language.
The reactions follow developments last week and this week during which the Ashanti Youth Association threatened dire consequences for former President Mahama should he fail within 48 hours to dissociate himself from a statement issued by his office denying that Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II had to persuade he Mahama to concede defeat in the 2016 presidential elections.
While addressing the United Nations General Assembly recently on the effective roles chieftaincy and other state institutions must play to engender peace, Otumfuo had said his high office had persuaded then President Mahama to accept defeat in the 2016 general elections.
That claim has been contested by many in the opposition National Democratic Congress, as well as the office of the former President Mahama, which issued a statement to that effect, saying he had conceded defeat on his own volition and without prompting from any quarters.
The apparently unamused Rawlings said on Facebook Tuesday;
“Fellow citizens, when the dust settles on the issue of President Mahama and Otumfuo, I hope we finally recognise how utterly inappropriate it is for a youth group and other politically blinded persons to send threats to a former president of the nation. I trust our loyalty to party colours has not blighted our traditional reverence for leadership. Let us also hope that President Mahama will find a way of sorting this out with the Asantehene as he has offered to. And I hope the youth will receive the appropriate reprimand at the end of it all.”
Former President Rawlings continued on Twitter to commend the people of Kyebi in the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area who on Monday held street protests against the use of foul language by the Ashanti regional secretary of the NDC, Mr. Kwame Zu, which foul language the people said attacked the person and dignity of the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Pannin II.
Ahead of the demonstration Mr Zu had apologized for his use of ‘inappropriate’ language, however the demonstrators demanded that the NDC party itself ought to apologise and offer some pacification rituals to assuage the anger of the people and restore the dignity of Okyeman and the Okyenhene.
Said Rawlings on Twitter:
“Let’s hope our party can curb the use of strong language by some in their political discourse. I’m glad the Okyeman citizenry bared its teeth enough to elicit an apology from the NDC branch responsible.
“The genuine NDC borne out of the AFRC/PNDC does not disrespect people. NDC stands for natural justice, discipline and respect. Let’s not sway from these ideals.”