“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet”. Mathew 24:6 KJV
Lately there have been rumours of war all over Ghana, with August 29 touted as the day of Armageddon when the final battle of megiddo between good and evil shall be fought. We have successfully turn Ghana into a volatile nation where imaginary civil wars are eminent.
It’s a truism that anyone who prepares well for a battle is not overtaken by events but when you have over prepared for battle and there is no battle, you are also likely to go shopping for a battle in order to display your skills.
There have been peace crusades in recent times in the wake of the Supreme Court election petition hearing. These peace crusades are not new in Ghana; we get them in every election year, where civil society, organised groups and the clergy call for violence-free electioneering campaigns and peaceful elections. This is at the backdrop of political related violence that has plunge many African countries in to civil wars. So it is actually not out of place for us as a nation to take pre-emptive measures to insulate and purge ourselves from any act that can spiral into the realms of chaos and instability.
We have accepted as a nation in 1992 to go the way of constitutional democracy and say never again to coup d’états and revolutions. We held ourselves together as a nation through six successive elections without any threat to the peace and stability of our nation. This has earned Ghana the accolade as the oasis of peace and a model democracy worth emulating in Africa and other parts of the world. Some say that Ghanaians are generally peaceful whiles others have argued that peace is not a preserve of Ghanaians; they believe we are just like any other nation that have experienced political upheaval and civil wars. Example of fever pitch tensions and pandemonium that griped Ghana in the 2008 election could have been the breaking point. Yes the tension was palpable and could literally be touched with bare hands. But can our circumstances also be equated to the genocidal situations in one time peaceful nations like Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Dr Congo etc.?
The 2012 elections was one of the smoothest in terms of serenity and calmness if we want to compare to previous ones. The elections produced a disgruntled candidate who felt gravely short-changed at the polls. Instead of taking arms or inciting his followers to use their fist to reclaim for him a verdict he believed was stolen, he rather chose the courts.
During the period when some New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters went out of control and manhandled opponents and journalist, the leadership of the NPP came out to appeal to their supporters to let cool heads prevail. They went ahead to apologise to journalists and all those who were affected. This was a great sense of statesmanship displayed by the leadership of the NPP to maintain the peace of the nation.
Now they are in court and as usual, political loose talks and threat of violence and civil war among the lower echelon of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and NPP on our airwaves has surfaced. This has landed few of the party activists in to the grips of the law and they were subsequently dealt with. Thanks to Big brother Justice Atuguba and the other Justices on the Supreme Court panel for bringing some sanity onto the airwaves after the Sir John Baptism of fire.
Now what really is my point? The peace council, the clergy and some civil society have really gotten on my nerves lately with their over-flogged peace campaigns. My question is what is actually happening in Ghana to warrant this rather vociferous and blistering cacophony of peace campaigns? What early warning signs are there that only few could see but the rest of us? Though the nations that were plunged into war had no antecedents of war but my question also is, has Ghana reached the point where we are at the verge of make or break? If the main elections where there were flurry of political activities like large gatherings, human traffic, rouble rousing and the incendiary rhetoric on political platforms did not plunge us in to war, then why should a Supreme Court verdict do? Has any of the political party leadership shown a belligerent posture or non-commitment to peace during the Supreme Court hearing to warrant all these peace assaults?
We have in our good intensions, been over-protective of the peace of the nation and have rather placed the nation in a state of alarm. We are rather planting and festering violence in the minds of some Ghanaians. Peace is being negotiated in such a gleeful passion giving the impression to some that they have the option of violence if they happen not to be in agreement with the court. We are rather appealing to people not to exercise their right to violence whereas there are no such rights. Nobody is mightier than the state and nobody has the right to violence. It is because of miscreants in society that is why the constitution vested in the state coercive powers to enforce law and order. So absolutely nobody is reserved the right to disturb the peace of the nation because he/she is aggrieved in a way or the other.
We have also managed to play in to the hands of naysayers and doom mongers who do not want to see us live in peace. We are being ridiculed as a volatile nation waiting to explode just because we have an election petition in court.
Have we all realised how the U.S has mischievously waded in to it the banalities of our shrill cry for peace? Have we suddenly become like the Islamic Maghreb where there are serious threats to U.S interest that should precipitate the closure of embassies, giving citizen alerts and so forth? Why do we choose to continue crying wolf where there are no wolves?
What didn’t the clergy, civil society and prominent statesmen say about the repercussions of the EC decision to create 45 new constituencies just before the elections? They beat war drums; some predicted doom, calling it a recipe for disaster if the EC should go ahead and create the new constituencies. The catholic Bishop conference had to call a high level inter-party meeting for a truce. We exaggerated and hyperbolized the whole situation such that some of us were made to believe any attempt by EC to carry out its intended action was a bad omen for this country. Did we fight over the newly created constituencies or are we in court over that? Sometimes we need to give ourselves some break and stop the over pampering like a spoilt child.
Ghana will remain in one piece after the August 29 Judgement. We are not enjoying peace because we have a peace council that is talking us into peace, but we have the grace of peace upon us as a nation. A little reminder and prayer is ok but excessive appeals as if we are at the brinks of a war are quite irritating to say the least. Our state institutions are on test and we will emerge stronger and united than ever. God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong!
Franklin Yayra Adorsu-Djentuh