The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) commends the Upper East regional minister, Ms. Tangoba Abayage, for openly making a strong commitment to issues-focused campaigning in her bid to become the parliamentary candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Navrongo Central Constituency.
Several verified media reports have quoted the minister as having admonished her supporters and party members to focus in issues and not insults.
“Today, I stand here to make a solemn pledge that not I or any of my team members will use any foul language against anybody. I’ve told them, if a single person in my team should do that then that very day that person is out. We have a message and we are sticking to that message. It is that message that will send us to parliament on the 7th of December, 2020” she warned her supporters and followers after filing her nomination on February 20, for the parliamentary candidature contest.
Earlier in January, Ms. Abayage’s main competitor and colleague Minister who is also the incumbent Member of Parliament for the constituency, Joseph Adda, accused her on local radio of not being politically active in the constituency but only goes there to drink beer.
According to journalists at the Bolgatanga-based A1 radio, where the incumbent made the disparaging comments against Ms. Abayage, the station had to issue a rejoinder after the incumbent had refused the station’s demand for him to retract the statement.
While many expected Ms. Abayage to do what appears to have become a norm by responding with similar disparaging comments against her contender, she rather responded by saying: “I don’t know what is special about Navrongo beer but I know what is special about Navrongo is the togetherness, the socialization, the camaraderie.”
The open commitment by the parliamentary aspirant to focus on issues and not insults in her campaigning, comes at a time when political discourse in the media and public sphere is characterised by the preponderance of abusive language, insults, provocative comments, ethnic bigotry and defamatory expressions, particularly against female politicians.
“The commitment by Ms. Abayage to run an issues-focused campaigning is a great example worthy of emulation by all aspirants and candidates in the upcoming December elections. We truly commend her for being an example of a decent politician. We hope that her example will inspire others, including Presidential candidates to also make a commitment to adhere to issues and not insults in the 2020 elections,” said Abigail Larbi, Programme Manager for Media and Good Governance at the MFWA.
The MFWA appeals to all aspirants, candidates and political communicators to endeavour to focus on issues-based campaigning ahead of the December elections in order to ensure voters are able to make their choices based on issues, and to contribute to making the upcoming elections peaceful.
Media Foundation for West Africa