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Napo will give his communicators a lot of work to do – Prof. Gyampo

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Professor Ransford Gyampo, a Political Scientist at the University of Ghana has cautioned Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, known as Napo, the running mate to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to be mindful of his remarks after his controversial comments about Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Napo, recently unveiled as Dr. Bawumia’s running mate in the Ashanti Region, faced criticism for comparing President Nana Akufo-Addo’s developmental achievements unfavorably to those of Dr. Nkrumah during a speech in Kumasi.

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While addressing party supporters in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, Dr Opoku Prempeh praised President Akufo-Addo, claiming that, ‘Not even Kwame Nkrumah developed Ghana like him.’

In an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Prof. Gyampo condemned Napo’s remarks as unnecessary and disrespectful.

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He emphasized that Dr. Nkrumah, a global icon and pivotal figure in Ghana’s history, deserves respect for his significant contributions to the nation.

Gyampo stressed the importance of diplomatic and respectful communication, particularly in public statements that can influence public opinion and shape historical narratives. He warned that insensitive remarks such as Napo’s could create significant challenges for party communicators, who may need to engage in extensive damage control efforts.

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“Ultimately, the orientation and beliefs of the audience should guide the approach. I’m still wondering whether this aligns with the complementarity Dr Mahamudu Bawumia seeks. Yes, his running mate may complement him in terms of hard work and forthrightness, but is the manner in which he expresses this forthrightness truly complementary? It can be both advantageous and disadvantageous, depending on where one finds himself.”

Reflecting on cultural norms, Gyampo shared a personal anecdote about differing communication styles, highlighting the contrast between Western openness and African traditions of respect towards elders and historical figures.

“When I was a student in the US, a student openly told our professor he was being stupid. To them, it was normal. I was very worried because, as an African, one cannot call a professor stupid, nor speak to elders in such a manner.”

He concluded by stressing the importance of considering the Ghanaian context when Dr Bawumia’s running mate speaks. “Otherwise, he will give his communicators a lot of work to do.”

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