The National Democratic Congress does not believe in politics of insult but will not fail to scrutinize the characters of its political opponents, the party’s National Propaganda Secretary has said.

According to Richard Quashigah the moral uprightness of a presidential candidate is equally as important as the developmental issues the candidate will champion ahead of an election.

Whilst agreeing that the 2012 campaign must be focused on issues, he said: “You cannot [divorce] issues from the character of the one who seeks a particular [office] or to become a leader. Issues and character are intertwined. Mind you at every point in time, people will follow a leader only as far as they can trust his trait or character. .. For instance whether he is credible, whether he is humble, whether he has respect for his fellow men, whether he is committed to ensuring that he lives by his words, that he is honest and not a liar. These things are very important. So yes, let’s talk about issues but you cannot leave out the character of the individual.”

Richard Quarshigah was reacting to threats by the youth of the New Patriotic Party that they will swim in the gutters of insults with the NDC if the ruling party officials do not stop the personal attacks on the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo.

The Youth Patriot at a press conference on Monday bemoaned what they described as the needless, unwarranted attacks on their flagbearer.

One of the spokespersons of the group John Kumah in an interview with Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh made references to the barrage of insults heaped against Nana Addo during the just ended NDC Congress in Sunyani.

He accused President John Mills of rewarding insolent and garrulous ministers who bare their teeth at the NPP flagbearer.

He also cited deputy Interior Minister Kobby Acheampong, the National and Central Region Propaganda Secretaries Richard Quashigah and Allotey Jacobs respectively as leading the onslaught for the NDC.

He warned the NPP will be forced to profile the moral decadence of high profile members of the NDC if the ruling party does not desist from the personal attacks.

But the NDC National Propaganda Secretary Richard Quashigah said the NDC abhors politics of insults.

“The NDC does not believe in politics of insults either. And we have not intended to insult or carry out politics of smear campaign against Nana Akufo-Addo. Not at all. It is not in our character,” he denied.

He reiterated however the need to have a candidate who is not known to deal in drugs, not known to be corrupt, saying, “if you are a leader and you have character challenges, you will not be able to deliver on promises.”

He said for the country to get to where it wants to, “we must have a man of character, so definitely issues of character do not amount to insult”.

Mr. Quashigah stated once one can prove “that a particular person is highly immoral or is a thief or the person does drugs or the person will loot state coffers if he gets the opportunity” it should not be swept under the carpet.

John Kumah said he welcomes the challenge by the Propaganda Secretary and will so act.

“I heard Mr Quashigah and I am so saddened. When people want to reduce the politics of this country to character assassination and character assessment we can all do it.

“…What is Quashigah talking about? If they want us to do that, we welcome that and we accept that challenge. They will be surprised we will begin to say things and reveal the character of Prof. Mills in a manner that Ghanaians will be shocked. They themselves cannot imagine the kind of things they will hear about their own president they call an angel,” he warned.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/