Mahama is Wrong
President Mahama’s celebration of the embattled Radio host Afia Schwarzenegger on Twitter amounts to the endorsement of her vile public behavior. While the president may have a prior friendship with Afia and therefore, has a right to wish her a happy birthday, it appears this is the first time he has done so publicly. And it is inappropriate given the ensuing controversy between Afia and Kennedy Agyapong, for the president to insert himself.
The interesting fact as noted is that there is zero instance of the Mahama ever wishing Afia a happy birthday publicly as he has done this year. So, why now? The president had every opportunity to celebrate Afia, who apparently was defending him and his family over the baseless accusations of Mr. Agyapong. But to celebrate Afia, publicly sets an unfortunate precedent.
The disapproval of Mahama’s public celebration of the Afia is consistent with an article I submitted to Neo Ghana suggesting Parliament should discipline Agyapong for violating its professional code of conduct, embodied in the 2013 Conduct of Public Officers Bill. While I believe parliament must pursue reasonable sanctions to regulate the behavior of the Asin North MP, the president’s public endorsement of Afia takes us backward.
It is not clear how many people Mahama has wished happy birthdays on Twitter, but it is certainly not the norm with the president. I suspect the president took toTwitter to express support for Afia. A private celebration would have saved the president the seeming endorsement of the poor example of Afia.
There is no restriction on who Mahama should celebrate or how he does it, but, the power and grace of the Presidency must be used to advance the cultural norms of our society. Nothing could be more important, but as it were, the president failed to cease the opportunity to reinforce decorum in our public discourse and respect for our shared cultural norms. I would argue similarly if a President other than Mahama appears to endorse behavior patterns that diminish or undermine our culture, period.
Hopefully, the president who has lots of pressing issues to attend will stay out of the skirmish going forward.
By Kuma Tann