In the initial stages of the demonstrations, muscles and guns were deployed by the demonstrators and the police respectively, and this led to vast destruction of lives and properties. Hosni Mubarak and his advisors also initially used reactionary and provocative measures to deal with the protesters. Thus, in the initial stages there was extensive use of “force” by all sides involved in the impasse. It is estimated that some three hundred Egyptians lost their lives, in addition to the destruction of numerous State and private properties. This initial use of aggression led to escalation of tensions and the resultant building of anxiety, not only in Egypt but across the entire world.
When every Egyptian and everybody in the world feared for the worst, the Egyptian Army that replaced the police on the streets used their brains and minds, instead of using bullets and muscles to handle the impasse. From that time onwards, all interest groups in the problem discarded the use of aggression, and moved towards finding long-term solutions that are based on reasoning. In the end, they all succeeded to turn what could have been an unquenchable fire into what William Shakespeare would have called “all’s well that ends well”…… which immediately endeared itself to all nations of the world.
What endeared me most, in particular, was the sight of protesters at Tahrir Square cleaning the place on their final day at the square, after achieving what they set themselves to achieve without the need to destroy more lives and properties. This latter use of peaceful means to resolve their problems and avoid unnecessary bloodshed is the second lesson that Ghanaians need to learn from the recent Egyptian demonstrations. *With due diligence, I recommend the two sets of lessons from Egypt to both NDC and NPP….. two contemporary parties whose members love to drum their chests like chimpanzees “fooling” about.
To NDC: The entire party from its so-called founder, Mr Rawlings, to its so-called “foot-soldiers” must be invited by the National Commission for Civic Education for thorough lessons on the need to use law and peaceful means to resolve public issues. They need to be taught to understand that the period when PNDC empowered and used “lawless youths” to lord over adults and senior public officers is over. In our current dispensation, it is law and order that must prevail in, and rule Ghana. While some members of the NDC may not like the way President Mills is running the current NDC Government and the country, Ghana is not a “Kangaroo Republic” where angry NDC youth can chase officials and demand the sacking of people they do not like.
If Ghanaians were satisfied with the PNDC system of administration and its associated lawlessness, there would not have been the need to usher in constitutional government from January 1993. Ghana at this stage does not need the use of “lawless youths” to press home any NDC demand on their government. *NDC youth and others do have their party’s congress in front of them. If there are members among them who do not like President Mills’ administration, they should use that congress to “unseat him” as President from January 2013, by kicking him out of their party’s 2012 flagbearership. In that case, he can never become President again on NDC ticket, and possibly on any other party ticket.
That is the right thing for them to do, and not their constant interference with the rule of law and attacks on NDC officials who are holding public offices on behalf of the State. *Lawless elements in NDC….. be they founders, elders or foot-soldiers……. should note that “peaceful public demonstrations”, like those that ended the recent Egyptian uprising, are different from taking the law into one’s own hands. The former is a sign of “democracy” and “civilisation”, while the latter is a sign of “dictatorship” and “primitiveness”.
To NPP: The party and its leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, should also learn from the said successful Egyptian demonstrations that the use of “force” and “bloody confrontation” to resolve public issues creates unnecessary and avoidable bloodshed. It is when the brain is deployed and the power of argument and mind-influence is used effectively that success crowns human efforts. Apart from the lessons from the recent Egyptian demonstrations, NPP has its own chequered history to guide it.
If “radicalism”, or what Akans call “patapaa” could help to achieve political success, then the Danquah-Busia tradition would have won many of the elections and plebiscites held in the Nineteen-fifties in the then Gold Coast and those held between 1957 and 1960, after independence and before Ghana became a Republic….. all of which were held in extreme environments of “bloody confrontation” and “intimidatory radicalism”. *They should know that in politics what comes out of one’s mind, through one’s mouth or through one’s actual actions, can cause more “political harm” than “punches”.
If Nana Akufo-Addo wants to do what his uncle Dr JB Danquah could never do, that is become the elected leader of Ghana, then he must stop using methods that never worked during the time of his uncle. Instead, he must believe in the power of argument and persuasion. He must place absolute faith in the Ghanaian electorate. He must induce majority of Ghanaians to “love” him, by associating more with the poor than with the rich. He must also watch every word that drops out of his mouth. It is these that can help him to achieve his political ambition….. and not a show of physical strength, courage, preparedness to die “any die”, or any similar show of bravery that flies in the face of democracy, legality and civility.
Radical NDC and NPP politicians who preach violence, but use “macho men” and “foot soldiers” to do their “dirty work” for them should deploy “themselves” and their own “precious children” to do their “bloody biddings”, and leave poor Ghanaians out of the violence and intimidation they perpetrate against their political opponents. Ghana needs peace and progress….. not “patapaa” and pain.
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Let’s “Fight” With Our Brains And Minds