Former President Jerry John Rawlings has expressed serious misgivings about comments made by a flagbearer hopeful of the NDC Alban Bagbin against the appointment of two persons with disabilities during the John Mahama administration.
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament reportedly attributed the poor performance of the previous National Democratic Congress government in the last Presidential and Parliamentary elections to the appointment of the two disabled persons – a stammerer Dr Omane Boamah and Dr Seidu Danaa, a blind person.
Bagbin slammed former president John Mahama for appointing Dr. Boamah as Communications Minister, despite being a stammerer.
“I learnt from tradition that it is not the chief that speaks, it is the linguist and, so, when you are a leader, you must have a very good linguist.
“When Prof [Atta Mills] was in power, Haruna Iddrisu was our linguist in charge of communication, when my brother John [Mahama] came to power, he substituted him for Dr Omane Boamah who is a natural stammerer,” the Nadowli Kaleo MP said during his tour of the Volta Region.
He added: “He is a very intelligent boy, he is smart but when he is speaking, he wastes time in coming out and Ghanaians do not have that much patience, so, they are always looking for those that are rattling.
“So, even though you might have a good message, you will not succeed in marketing that message because somebody is there from the other side rattling and they are listening to him, so, we came down.”
The former President who is also the Chairman of the party’s Council of Elders, said the comments of Mr. Bagbin were unacceptable and contrary to the values and principles of social inclusion of the NDC party.
Flt Lt Rawlings emphasized that the ongoing intra party democratic processes taking place are meant to further deepen the democratic credentials of the party and indicated that the National Executive Committee of the Party will have to ensure the full application of the rules and regulations governing campaign utterances and electioneering.
“Such utterances have the tendency to negatively affect the unity and cohesion of the party,” the former President stated.
Meanwhile, persons who stammer have issued a statement demanding an apology from the legislature over such “disparaging comments.
“We find his description of the former minister not only unguarded, reckless and infantile, but an attack on all well meaning stammerers in the Communications Industry,” the statement said.
It added: “It’s against this backdrop that we demand a full apology on behalf of Dr. Omane Boamah from the Nadowli West constituency while cautioning him to desist from passing comments which have the potential of undermining the intellectual capacities of people with physical impairment.”