A security expert and Director of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre (KAIPTC), Professor Emmanuel Kwesi Aning said the recent meeting of political leaders at the Manhyia Palace was symbolic but not enough to bring peace.
Speaking on Adom News at 6pm, he described the meeting as ‘a symbolic gesture of peace’ saying that ‘we are not looking for a symbolic gesture of peace but real action that demonstrates peace.’
His statement comes at a time when the public is panicking at the way the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan is paying visits to religious leaders to persuade them to preach the peace message ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the Presidential Election Petition.
Contrary to expectations that the IGP’s peace campaign would calm nerves down, some Ghanaians have told Adom News they are rather getting more scared by the IGP’s campaign.
Prof. Aning also said a recent survey by the KAIPTC at selected lorry stations in the country indicated that the Presidential Election Petition hearing has put fear in Ghanaians.
He said the fear could be good or bad, explaining that it could lead people to take personal decisions not to engage in any act that would bring civil war to Ghana, and could lead others to want to do something drastic just to gain some advantage over perceive opponents.
‘The case in court is about power and whether one political party or the other would lose or gain power to run the affairs of this country and it all depends on the final decision of the Supreme Court,’ he said.
He noted that the Supreme Court decision is not like alternative conflict resolution where both conflicting parties may derive some satisfaction from the final decision, because ‘in this case one would necessarily gain and the other would lose so the stakes are high and that is the cause of the fear that has gripped the public.’
Prof. Aning believes the fear should lead the security agencies and the entire citizenry to take proactive measures to forestall any undesirable incidents, adding that, on that score, the IGP deserves commendation for being proactive.
He however noted that the aspects of the IGP’s campaign, which constituted real actions towards peace were not the meetings with the religious leaders, but his clear note of warning that ‘no one is above the law’.
‘I think the Ghana Police Service should not shy away and I’m happy that the IGP is consistently saying that no one is above the law’ the security expert said.
Asked if it was necessary for all the three petitioners and all three respondents to appear in court on the day of final verdict and hold hands to symbolize their commitment to peace, he said that was not necessary because the real action towards peace is the commitment to law enforcement.
Prof. Aning also kicked against suggestions that all Ghanaians should hold their hands on the day the Supreme Court would give the verdict, saying that ‘we should all go on with our usual daily activities and trust the law enforcers to do their work.’
He has therefore called on the leadership of the various political parties not to only preach about peace but also target the people at the grassroot where political crisis could spark from.
Prof. Aning said the Ghana Police Service and the responsible institutions must also continue to educate Ghanaians about Ghana’s Criminal Code in various local languages like Twi, Dagati, Ga, Ewe, Frafra, Adangbe among others for people to be mindful of what punishments exist for what crimes.
Prof. Aning also urged the police service to deal with any person who will flout the laws of the land.
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