Opinions Sat, 10 Jan 2009

A Call For Peace.No Time For Divisions

My thoughts today deal with playing the role of ‘’Peace maker” when I am ask in a discussions on political issues. It can be both risky and rewarding, but in my view it is one of the key contributions that an ordinary Ghanaian like me can make to the decision making-process of mother Ghana. The bible says in Proverbs 11 vs. 14, that without wise leadership a nation falls, but with many counselors, there is safety.

My challenge is first to tell all opposition leadership whilst still maintaining their commitment to their party values to maximize their effectiveness in the opposition role by working constructively in the opposition role, identify key issues for resolution, gain consensus and influence party strategy, connect effectively with the community and overcome ideological differences to build constructive working relationships with other parties.

Secondly, I would also want to tell our ruling government, Church leaders, Chiefs, the opposition and the rest of Ghanaians here and abroad to restore the Ghanaian dream of opportunity and value of responsibility, and to bring our country together amid all our diversity into a stronger community, so that we can find common ground and move forward as one. Tribal and religious sentiments must be stopped because divided we fall but together we build. I am absolutely convinced that, we cannot restore economic opportunity or solve our social problems unless we find a way to bring Ghanaians together. And to do that, we must openly and honestly deal with the issues that divide us. There are deep-rooted barriers that separate us from each other. These barriers stem from linguistic, tribal, cultural, religious, and political or any other similar prejudices.

Language, which is meant to be a medium of communication, has become a medium of alienation among different linguistic groups. Often we see language in stead of bringing people together separates them. The tribal division among the Ghanaians, the regions and the districts are there for all to see the different parts of Ghana but not to divide the people. Culture, which expresses the deeper yearnings of the people of a society and all that is finer in them, often becomes a cause of fight among people. Religion, whose aim is to take people to their ultimate destiny and to the experience of the divine, often forgets this responsibility. Politically, Ghana is broken into pieces. There are political party’s disputes plaguing all over the country. Claims and counter claims are made by all political parties.

Now that we have come to the end of elections, we could spend some time reflecting on the relevance of it all. All that I am saying is that unity is the basis for all Ghanaians to help preserve and bring prosperity to the country. I am appealing to all Ghanaians within the government, the opposition, the diaspora, the business community and other interested parties, to think of their country's dignity and its future and end their disagreements. It does not help matters when some people blatantly reject the concept of uniting all Ghanaians, making disparaging comments about cultures,tribes,party’s and faiths of others and spreading malicious rumours designed to sow the seeds of disharmony and strife.

We should all first and foremost see ourselves as Ghanaians. After all, we regardless of our ethnicity, religion and social status are all born in Ghana or are nationals of Ghana. If we truly wish to progress and become a fully developed nation then we must first set aside our differences and suspicions and work together as one.We need to shake off our communal mentality because it does not serve the greater good of our country.We should not desire to bring glory only to our race,political affiliations or departments but to our country as a whole.Each of us has a part to play in ensuring the development of our country as one that is progressive, intellectually mature and sound.

No matter how many policies the Government makes, if we ourselves do not first break free from our narrow-minded mindset, we will continue to be fearful and suspicious of each other. It is only through the education of our young that we can ensure that they would grow up to value peace, harmony and unity among all tribes and learn the true meaning of being a Ghanaian.Let’s not allow dirty politics ruin the efforts of our founding fathers in uniting all Ghanaians.Let’s know that we have the "National Patriotic Song" of Ghana written by Dr. Ephraim Amu titled ‘YEN ARA ASAASE NI’

We are, after all, Ghanaians.

May God bless you all for helping to bring peace and seeing another peaceful transition of our homeland Ghana.Thank you.

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Columnist: Boateng, E. K.