Associate Professor at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana Ransford Yaw Gyampo says former president John Dramani Mahama could have used a more understandable expression in making his point about the vigilance to be put up by his party in the 2024 elections.
He said because English is not the mother tongue of Ghanaians, it is important communication is made effective by leaders in order not to give room for misinterpretation.
“English is not our language,” he said on The Keypoints on TV3/3FM on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
“Even we that people call professors, when we write our articles and you send them abroad, they come and tell you that you don’t understand English Language. So, when you are speaking to a people whose understanding or appreciation of the language is not so much high, you must be mindful.”
This comes in the wake of former president Mahama’s comments that the 2024 elections will be a “do-or-die affair” for his party, the National Democratic Congres (NDC), given the events surrounding their defeat in the 2020 elections.
He ruled out ever going to the Supreme Court to settle disputes on election results.
His comments stirred controversy with many calling on him to retract them.
But the three-time Leader of the NDC said he was only using an idiomatic expression whose meaning can be found in any dictionary and, therefore, had said nothing wrong.
However, Prof Gyampo said any expressions which require further explanations meant there was no effective communication.
“You don’t put out expressions for others to go and explain,” he stressed.
“If you are a communicator, one of the principles of leadership is that a leader must be able to communicate effectively and that means that ability to say what you mean and mean what you say in a manner devoid of ambiguities and misinterpretations.”
Prof Gyampo, therefore, noted that the former president “could have used other expressions to make that same point without [explaining]”.