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Prof Yankah deplores verbal abuse in public discourse

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Prof. Kwesi Yankah

Professor Kwesi Yankah, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana (UG), has deplored the culture of verbal abuse which has pervaded public discourse in the country.

The emergence of a culture of vulgarism and abusive exchanges among the dignified office bearers constitute an embarrassment to the country’s democracy and should not be encouraged.

Prof Yankah was addressing the night of celebration of works and achievements of Professor Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia in Accra on Friday.

He said through the electronic media, ethnic and partisan abuse is openly hurled against opponents even in the discussion of trivial issues.

He said highly provocative and libellous remarks sometimes of no substance were made about high public personalities, in the name of freedom of speech but also under the cover of anonymity.

According to him, the situation was no different in formal fora like Parliament where during heated debates, scurrilous invectives were freely exchanged, sometimes compelling the Speaker to call the offending members to order.

“It is important to emphasise that in the realm of hurling scurrilous abuse, no particular political party holds a monopoly, and none is an exception”, he added.

The UG Pro-Vice Chancellor said it was a canker that has permeated the entire body politic, and stands the danger of lowering the standard of civility in public communication.

He observed that it was unfortunate that political appointment were sometimes, largely driven by who speaks on radio, who is the loudest and who is the most argumentative in speech component.

The Professor said radio has become fertile ground for political recruitment, and the chance of a “serial caller” getting a political appointment was far higher than a subject specialist.

Source: GNA

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