Ghana the first nation to gain independence in Africa, South Sahara is considered worldwide as a peaceful nation. However, happenings after the just-ended election on 7th December seem to be giving Ghana a different outlook. After the polls which gave the NPP and NDC almost equal number of MPs in parliament with President Nana Addo being declared winner of the presidential poll, a number of towns across the country are being turned into battlegrounds with youth groups going on a rampage to attack some MPs DCE’s destroying properties and threatening to kill people.
This is not what happens after polls since the inception of the 4th Republic in 1992. The activity of the wayward groups is considered by many as unghanaian. Indeed since the inception of the fourth Republic Ghana has not witnessed ugly scenes such as this after presidential and parliamentary polls. We must make a move to put a stop to it, otherwise it would affect our reputation as a peaceful nation. Even though the police and other members of our security were deployed to ensure peace during and after the polls, their presence were not felt as expected as though they’re not well prepared for their roles.
The NDC which claims to have detected flaws in the polls are challenging the results but they are not seen to be responsible for the atrocities. The NPP whose candidate, Nana Addo was declared winner has been calling for peace and calling on its members to be modest in their celebration. It’s our prayer that the other political parties would follow suit by calling on their members to remain calm and peaceful. For that matter, all the youth embarking on the rampage must put a stop to the acts of vigilantism. They must know that it is only when there is peace that as young people they can go about their affairs as students and workers. Before the polls a peace PACT was signed between the contending parties in the presence of religious leaders through the help of the Institute of Democratic Governance, IDEG.
UNDER the agreement the leadership of the contending parties especially NPP & NDC agreed to ensure peace during and after the polls. If after the polls any of the parties have grievances the only avenue left for them is to put forward their grievances to the electoral commission or the law courts for redress. According to IDEG, the Supreme Court has the Mandate to resolve disputes and give interpretations to the electoral laws. It happened that when Nana Addo lost a presidential election against John Mahama in 2012 he took the matter to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of John Mahama. Nana Addo accepted the verdict and moved on. This notwithstanding, the NPP, NDC and the other political parties deserve commendation for remaining calm during and after polls. The NCCE, National Media Commission, GJA, National peace council, religious groups and other civil society Groups in the country must continue playing their part in promoting peace in Ghana. They can do so in their churches, mosques and neighborhoods.
Ghana must continue to march on as a peaceful nation. Since both NPP and NDC have a good number of MPs in parliament, it’s believed that we are gradually moving away from the winner takes all phenomenon. It’s our belief that the new Parliament will do well by ensuring the enactment of good laws in the country to ensure the promotion of education of our children and unborn generations. They will also ensure good infrastructure and honest and credible use of the natural and financial resources in the country. Let’s consider Ghana as a nation that belongs to every citizen.
We must continue to live peacefully in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, markets and business centers. Ghanaians know that we are one people in one nation with a common destiny with different political parties and still working together. We must therefore promote peace and unity wherever we are and whatever roles we play in the country. This will make Ghana a true beacon of democracy and peace for posterity.
BY ALHAJI ALHASAN ABDULAI