It is another Supreme Court Wednesday. Today, we would be all ears waiting for the much awaited date for the judgement day. We can only pray that the summoning of the NPP General Secretary and one of the party’s official communicators to answer contempt charges do not send us too far back.
As we inch towards the judgement day, there seems to be some trepidation in the air and the thoughts of it seem to be causing fear and panic. Will there be peace after the verdict? That is the question on many minds and the media headlines and editorial opinions speak for themselves.
Monitoring the media since the beginning of August alone, the numerous headlines are all singing the same tune – peace. We have come across such headlines as “How do we maintain peace after court verdict”, “Peace forum held at……..”, “Nasara club urges members to respect verdict”, “NCCE prepares Ghanaians for peace after verdict”, “Call for peace vital”, “Peace march held …………”, “Traditional rulers appeal for unity after court verdict”, “Religious groups unite for peace”, “Nothing should destroy our peace”, “Muslim mission appeals for sustenance of peace”, “Fast and pray to preserve peace , unity”, and “Put Ghana first no matter the Supreme Court ruling”.
From the pulpits, pastors are preaching peace. At prayer meetings, everyone is praying for peace, politicians are asking for peace and in private conversations, individuals are talking about peace after the pronouncement.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen the police and the military coming into town and showing off their might and power. The leadership of both forces tell us that they are ready to defend the peace of Ghana.
So why do we think that Ghana would break into pieces based on a certain outcome after the Supreme Court judgement? As an optimist, I have a different view. Ghana did not crumble in December 2008 after the re-run of the presidential polls and during the build up to the declaration of the results. So, what really is our fear now?
I started searching for answers by looking up the meaning of the word “peace”. My Collins dictionary and thesaurus defines peace as, “calm, quietness, absence of anxiety, freedom from war, and harmony between people”. War should never be an option here so let us look at calmness, quietness, anxiety and harmony.
Definitely, Ghanaians would never let go the calmness and relative quietness we have enjoyed in this country. No, not at any price. Anxiety? Well, we do have our anxious moments even as individuals. The lack of harmony between us as Ghanaians is the peace we should grumble about. Our problem, really, should not be what happens after the verdict but rather what the state of our country has been due to excessive partisan politics that is eroding our peace with each single day.
The over politicisation of everything in this country is now robbing us of harmonious living with one another. We have ceased to trust each other for the mere reason that we do not think alike ideologically? It is “if you are not for us then you are against us” kind of world we live in.
The winner-takes-all posture in our governance system can hardly bring peace for as long as one set on people continue to enjoy and the rest just hang in there. We cannot preach oneness when only one section of the people is enjoying all the icing on the cake because they belong to the party in power. As an Akan saying goes, “adidi gya yeya” which literally translated means that it is painful to be passed over when food is being shared.
When it comes to partisan politics, I believe a country like America is in the thick of it, more than perhaps any other country. Yet, when it comes to the loyalty to country and man, there is general consensus. Barriers like belonging to the Democrats or the Republicans become secondary. Excessive partisanship is destroying our peace more than anything else. That is where our fasting and prayers should be channelled most.
Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, with all his faults, sought the peace and prosperity of Ghana and the welfare of its people through the investments that he accomplished in office. Work and happiness was his mantra. He sought to push for rapid industrialisation, agricultural development, infrastructure, education, health and housing. His agenda was Ghana.
How can we pursue peace when majority of the people struggle to put three meals on the table for their families while a small minority have and hold on to plenty? What kind of peace can we preach or pray for when some enjoy clean potable water, a basic necessity that has eluded the majority? When some sleep in bright light and others in continued darkness? If the majority are consistently left out in the share of the national cake, certainly peace, and for that matter, harmony would be a far cry.
Yes, we need calm, we need some quietness, and we need a Ghana where there is harmony between its citizens. The outcome of the much awaited Supreme Court verdict should unite us more than ever before as we put Ghana first from that day onward.