"People no longer respect the presidency" - Sam George to Lydia Forson

Presidential staffer, Sam George, is not a happy man. He is in pain because, “people no longer respect the presidency.”

This state of affairs, according to him, “is completely unacceptable.”

“I think there is so much disrespect in our society; so much disrespect especially for the highest office of the land;…We cannot [live in] a country where anybody at all can just wake up and pass whatever comment about the office of the president or the presidency and justify it,” he told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Yankson Monday.

Sam George was speaking on recent debates over the propriety of comments made by some celebrities in expressing their frustrations about the power crisis being endured by Ghanaians.

The presidential staffer, who himself has had to apologise severally in the past for comments deemed distasteful and rude, said he had to unlearn what in Ghanaian terms appears abrasive posturing which he acquired growing up in Nigeria.

He said arguments by Lydia Forson - whose open letter to the president ruffled a lot of feathers – that she didn’t insult the president are untenable.

He said if Lydia Forson’s argument is stretched, then comments by a former presidential staffer, Alhaji Halidu Haruna, likening the actress and fellow Yonne Nelson, to prostitutes, are equally not an insult.

“If we are asking that we should have respect for citizens, citizens must also have respect for authority. As a people we need to come to that place where we are more tolerant in our discourse, more tolerant in our discussion, in our choice of words,” he stressed.

Sam George does not believe the refrain that public office holders are paid with taxpayers’ money and, therefore, can be subjected to wanton criticism is a particularly bright argument.

“It is [common] to hear people say ‘we pay you with our taxes and so we can say whatever we want to say. I mean who doesn’t pay taxes? Even those who get paid with the taxes…those taxes are not exempt our their taxes,” he asserted.