The Head of the Linguistics Department at the University of Ghana, Professor Kofi Agyekum has bemoaned the fact that the Ghanaian media has become a platform where insults between political parties are exchanged.

According to Prof. Agyekum the airwaves have lately been inundated with politics and political insults which do not augur well for the country.

“The overall effect of the common practice of political invectives is that we are establishing a political tradition where insults have taken the place of polite language and logical persuasion has become the order of the day” he noted.

He made the comments at an inaugural lecture he gave at the University of Ghana on the topic: “‘Kasapa – Kasahuam’ Polite Language: Towards perfect communication, national cohesion and peaceful co-existence”.

Prof. Agyekum asked “is this what proliferation of the media houses was meant for, is this what we are reaping from the repeal of the criminal libel law? In fact was the culture of silence broken to be replaced with the culture of insults and impunity? Then we are in danger of losing a very valuable aspect of our cultural heritage?”

He reiterated the fact that insults have become even more rewarding for some people who engage in it. He however stressed that “political invectives lower the sense of objectivity among our politicians since most members of the political divides do not see anything positive about their opponents”, a situation he noted was based on the ideological square of positive self-representation and negative representation of others.

Citing Rwandan as a case study, the Head of the Linguistics department mentioned that it is dangerous to throw political discourse in our country into free for all denigrations and insults and insisted politicians use polite language and avoid been offensive to their addressees.

“This strategy would create a common ground for the public good between them and their political opponents” he remarked.

Prof. Agyekum also urged politicians and the media to make use of polite language in their communication to promote peaceful national co-existence.

Furthermore, he encouraged Ghanaians to forgive and forget and accept apology in a positive and sincere manner so as to reduce the ethnic, partisan, domestic and religious conflicts in our country.

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