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Napo’s dismissive description of ‘iconic’ Nkrumah was unnecessary condescension – Prof. Gyampo

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Political scientist Ransford Gyampo from the University of Ghana has strongly criticized recent remarks made by Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, a prominent figure in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), regarding Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

The comments were delivered during Dr. Opoku Prempeh’s unveiling as the running mate to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in the Ashanti Region.

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During a speech to party supporters in Kumasi, Dr. Opoku Prempeh lauded President Nana Akufo-Addo, asserting that “Not even Kwame Nkrumah developed Ghana like him.”

In response, Professor Ransford Gyampo, in an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, expressed strong disapproval of the remarks, deeming them unnecessary and dismissive.

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He emphasized Dr. Nkrumah’s global stature as an icon and a pivotal figure in Ghana’s history, referring to him as the “president of the whole century.”

Mr Gyampo cautioned against such derogatory language towards historical figures, stressing the importance of diplomatic and respectful discourse, especially in public statements that can influence public opinion and historical narrative.

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“We need to differentiate between being assertive and being tactful,” Gyampo remarked, warning that insensitive remarks could require extensive damage control efforts from party communicators, invoking the colloquial expression “them go explain Taya” used on social media.

Drawing on a personal anecdote, Prof. Gyampo illustrated cultural differences in communication norms, citing an incident where a student openly criticized a professor in the US, contrasting it with the expected respect towards elders in African cultures.

Regarding Dr. Bawumia’s choice of running mate, Prof. Gyampo questioned whether Dr. Opoku Prempeh’s forthrightness in expressing views aligns with the complementary role sought by Dr. Bawumia, suggesting that while forthrightness can be advantageous, it must be tempered with cultural sensitivity.

“In the Ghanaian context,” Prof. Gyampo emphasized, “communicators must carefully consider how statements are perceived,” underscoring the potential implications of insensitive remarks in public discourse.

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