Ambiguity is our writing lesson for today. It is a word, phrase or statement which contains more than one meaning, leading to vagueness and confusion. There are two types of ambiguity: lexical and structural or syntactic.
Lexical ambiguity is a single word with two or more possible meanings, or words that have multiple meanings, eg. I saw a bat. Bat can mean a flying mammal or a wooden club. Saw is the past tense of see, and can also mean to cut with a saw. So, I saw a bat can mean, I saw a flying mammal or a wooden club. And can also mean I cut a flying mammal with a saw or I cut a wooden club with a saw.
Structural or syntactic ambiguity is the presence of two or more possible meanings within a single sentence or sequence of words, eg. Call me a taxi. This could mean find me a taxi or call me by the name taxi.
I want to sound a word of caution to political communicators. Avoid ambiquous statements; it can be twisted by your opponents, and this can cost you an election victory. It is possible that Nana Akufo-Addo wanted to communicate that his party was going to do everything possible to win the 2012 elections, but decided to choose all-die-be-die, which I believe was one of the reasons why he lost the 2012 presidential election.
Having finished with today’s lesson, permit me to recycle one of my favourite jokes to help me build my point for this write-up.
Gross insubordination is a serious offense; it is the refusal of subordinates to take instructions from their superiors. Unfortunately, acts of insubordination could be found every where including churches.
In a particular church, promiscuity and drunkenness was rife among members especially the youth. The Senior Pastor during a Sunday church service
preached: “If I had all the akpeteshie in the world, I’d take them and dump them into the river”. And the congregation cried, “Amen!”
“And if I had all the apio in the world, I’d take them and dump them in the river”. And the congregation cried, “Amen!”
“And if I had all the brukutu and Palm wine in the world, I’d take them all and dump them in the river”. Again the congregation cried, “Amen!”
“And if I had all the kasapreko and alomo bitters in the world, I’d take them all and throw them in the river”. And the congregation gave a thunderous shout, “Amen!”
The preacher sat down, and a deacon then stood up and said:
“For our closing hymn, let’s turn to page 126 of our hymn books and
sing, ‘We shall drink from that river.”
The congregation screamed Halleluyah eiii!!!
Interestingly, like the insubordinate deacon and congregation, the acting chairman of the NPP has not only ignored calls by leading members of his party not to endorse President Mahama and the NDC through adverts in his paper, the Daily Guide, but has gone ahead to insinuate that those putting pressure on him are silly and ignorant because it does not make business sense to reject adverts irrespective of where they are coming from.
Nevertheless, some NPP stalwarts are furious as to why their acting chairman would want to choose money over party loyalty: and are cursing their stars for sacrificing Paul Afoko for Freddy Blay.
Intriguingly, news currently buzzing around is that the NPP is terribly broke because their financiers don’t want to release money. Consequently, party activists following the NPP campaign trail are compelled to bear their own expenses. The succinct and terse message of the financiers is: No Afoko, no money.
This development coupled with a purported research by the party indicating that the NPP will lose this year’s polls because of the suspension of key members of the party, have perhaps, forced the NPP flag bearer to reconsider his decision on the suspension of some national executive members.
As a result, it has been reported that steps are being taken to reinstate all suspended members. It has also being alleged that the flag bearer has been advised to personally apologise and beg the suspended national chairman, Paul Afoko to withdraw the court suit against the party and resume work: but Opana says, lie-lie.
It is about two months to the general elections, but things are fast deterioting in the camp of the biggest opposition party. For example, it is believed that Nana Akufo-Addo supported his favourites in the party’s parliamentary primary election against other contestants in their stronghold, the Ashanti Region; and those who lost are bitter and have opted to go independent.
At least my quick check shows that some NPP members have filed nominations as independent candidates in the following constituencies in the Ashanti Region: Nhyiaeso, Bantama, Asante Akim North(Agogo), Adansi Asokwa and Suame. There could be more. What is obvious is that the peeved supporters of these candidates would want to punish Nana Akufo-Addo by voting against him.
This is not all, the supporters of candidates like Collins Amankwa who were discriminated against but won the primary will also join the azonta dance. To refresh your mind, Collins Amankwa was slapped by the NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman, Antwi Bosiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi during the parliamentary primary election.
Looking at the aforementioned facts, Nana Akufo-Addo must be in hot waters, and his predicament could be likened to the effect of the proverbial Akan drum called Kwesi Anata Twini.
It is believed that if the drum is beaten, one will lose the father, and if not beaten one’s mother will die. Unfortunately, these discontented suspended party executives of the NPP and independent candidates, out of anger and frustration have not only determined to beat the drum, but want to beat it hard! Kikikikiki, this is an intricate and perplexing political challenge, isn’t it? Chai, it is an absolutely inescapable and inextricable quagmire if you ask me!