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Catholic Church appeals to Council of State to intervene on usage of insults by politicians

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The Justice and Peace Commission of the Koforidua Diocese of the Catholic Church, has called on the Council of State to call to order politicians and leaders who use insulting language in their political discourse.

The commissioners reminded the Council of State that being the highest body of counselling to the President on national matters, they are duty bound to call for an end to the culture of insults on the Ghanaian political landscape.

The commissioners who were drawn from all the parishes in the Koforidua diocese, made the call during an open forum at a seminar on politics of insults at the Catholic Pastoral Training Centre at Akwadum near Koforidua at the weekend.

The participants who condemned the insults, also called on the National Media Commission (NMC) to regulate the activities of the private media who often gave the platform for the insults to be traded.

According to them, it appeared that the media in Ghana was having too much power at the expense of national development and that must be checked to guarantee a safe election year in 2012.

Reverend Father Paul Larweh, the Diocesan Coordinator of the Justice and Peace Commission, said the avoidance of insults in politics must engage the attention of all well-meaning Ghanaians by condemning whoever used insulting language irrespective of his creed or affiliation.

He said politicians must attack issues and not personalities in their quest for power and urged the commissioners to educate their members to denounce any politician who used insults because the Ghanaian society frowned on that.

A High court Judge, Justice Kofi Akrowiah, who spoke on the legal implications of insulting in public, explained that the law had penalties for insulting in public and people who also felt insulted could sue to redeem their image in the law courts.

According to the Judge, insulting was a criminal offence liable to prosecution as damaging publications and urged people who felt insulted to use the appropriate channels to seek redress to send a signal that insulting language was abhorred in the Ghanaian society.

He said even in the traditional set up, a chief was not supposed to use insulting language, and so similarly, political leaders should be bold enough to sack or punish their appointees and office holders who used foul language, especially on public platforms.

Source: GNA


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