MFWA slams Mahama for endorsing ‘Akyem sakawa boys’ comments

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The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has condemned the NDC flagbearer John Dramani Mahama for endorsing ethnocentric comments made against Akyems by the Bolgatanga Central MP.

In a statement, MFWA explained that the statement tends to “provoke and incite reprisal attacks which can fuel political tensions” in the country.

Isaac Adongo in a Facebook post headlined “Agyapa Royalties Fraud Is The Last Straw: The Akyem Sakawa Boys and Grandpas must Go,” accused President Akufo-Addo of forming a family-and-friends business to capture the mineral resources of the state. The Facebook post was later shared by the NDC’s presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama on August 31, 2020, evoking divergent sentiments among followers.

On this, the MFWA, responded: “John Mahama’s action of sharing the article on his Facebook page amounts to republication and an endorsement of the ethnocentric comments.’

It added:

“While we acknowledge that public discourse on both traditional and social media gets heated during electioneering periods, it is regrettable that often, such expressions are made with total disregard for the basic ethos of cultural and social values of public communication. With barely three months to the December 7 polls, political discourse in the media and public sphere has been characterized by the prevalence of indecent expressions.”

The statement then added:

“Political parties, their communicators, assigns and serial callers must also desist from engaging in a personal vendetta that satisfies their party ego and interests and make commitments to ensuring […..] the upcoming elections [are peaceful.”

Already the MFWA’s 2020 monitoring of language use on radio ahead of the 2020 polls have cited a total of 156 indecent expressions used by radio show hosts and influential political party officials.

These include insults, prejudice or bigotry, inflammatory expressions, hate speech, tribal slurs and stereotyping, provocative remarks, unsubstantiated allegations and gender-specific insults, among others.

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