Ghanaian politicians need to be careful in their choice of words. As some prominent members of our political class have found to their cost, recently, carelessness in their choice of words, can result in endless political difficulties for them.
It is such a pity that they have very little professional help available in Ghana, to help them navigate the positive-communications world's language maze successfully.
Take the presidential candidate of the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party's (NPP), Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo, for instance. As we all know, he is a gentleman who has mastery of the English language.
Yet, for some extraordinary reason, at a point in time, not too long ago, he resorted to a phrase in pidgin English, to rally his followers - and instead of saying "cowards die many times before their death" in exhorting his followers to be courageous, unfortunately plumped for the pidgin English phrase: "All die be die!"
Alas, he has not been allowed to forget that error of judgement, in his choice of words, in a hurry, by his political opponents.
Then there is President Mills' momentary loss of concentration, which led to his curious response that he was "not a policeman" - to those who wanted him to have the individuals responsible for the violence at voter-registration centres arrested.
The president should have simply responded to those making that unfair demand of him, by making the point, that they were more or less expecting him to behave like a military strongman - and usurp the role of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, by going around the country arresting those responsible for the violence at voter-registration centres.
He should have then gone on to remind them that they were forgetting that there is a pressing need for our institutions of state to be allowed to work - in order to deepen the roots of Ghanaian democracy: and that at such moments in our democratic journey, as a people, we should all be encouraging the police to enforce the electoral laws - and act swiftly to arrest those responsible for voter-registration centre violence, nationwide.
(Naturally, dear reader, I shall deny the latest of the many foolish, irresponsible, inflammatory and dangerous utterances of the Hon. Kennedy Adjapong, the NPP MP for Assin North, the oxygen of publicity, by not repeating them here - safe to remind him, and other arrogant and verbally-aggressive politicians of his ilk, that any politician or political party that thinks that ordinary Ghanaians will allow their country to burn, just so that a new group of clever and self-serving politicians, in our musical-chairs-democracy, can also come to power, and "chop Ghana small" - to use an infamous pidgin English phrase, first employed by a Lebanese crook doing business in Ghana decades ago - is living in cloud-cuckoo-land. But I digress.)
If our leaders are to avoid the linguistic equivalent of slipping on banana skins, they need to make a conscious effort to choose their words carefully.
Above all, as the campaign season begins, they need to find world-class professionals to speak for them - and to train them to respond appropriately whenever they need to respond directly to questions themselves, and to comment on issues personally.
Let them watch their words carefully, at all material times - lest their utterances get them into endless trouble, when what they say returns to haunt them. A word to the wise...
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