A troubled Togo is a troubled Ghana

Bernard Mornah Togo Ghana Protest File photo

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 Source: dailyguideafrica.com

Ghanaians and for that matter the country’s political leadership should be justifiably disturbed when there is trouble in nearby Togo. There is trouble there now and the President is as worried as his compatriots about the repercussions of an unresolved Togolese crisis the national security implications of which can be enormous and disturbing.

President Akufo-Addo’s headship of a high-powered delegation to the neighbouring country in an effort to broker peace between the feuding political actors is a step in the right direction. It is another exhibition of a leadership quality which the country stands to gain immensely from.

Ghana by such acts is regaining her lost glory in the international comity of civilized nations; something she wielded in her post-independence history with pride and glee.

Such efforts should have been brought to bear on the crisis long before now but better late than never is a dictum that should console us for not doing much until now.

No crisis is unworthy of mediation especially when not doing anything about it cannot be a wise option. With an open-mind, as he said about his status, President Akufo-Addo no doubt can do a lot in resolving the unending crisis which is tearing the beautiful country apart and threatening us as its neighbours.

Already, we are hosting hundreds of refugees from that country in the Northern parts of the country and the number could increase quadruple-fold should the crisis be allowed to fester. As signatories to the international protocol on refugees to which all civilized societies are anyway, we are obliged to receive distressed persons from troubled countries. The cost of such hospitability is expensive hence the need to avert a situation which could compel us to put another strain on our already tight budget. The opportunity cost of such a demand can only be imagined at this time of our recovery from many years of economic retrogression.

We are aware about the previous efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to bring peace to Togo and how these have not registered the desired dividends. It is the regional body’s duty to mediate in the crisis but failing to achieve so much so far, it is just right that Ghana enters into the fray with a view to trying something different.

With his linguistic advantage over others in dealing with the feuding parties, President Akufo-Addo has won their trust already and should be able to apply his template to the good of the peace of Togo.

The body language of the parties so far does not suggest something in the negative but as it is with all negotiations, the journey to the final destination can be long and arduous. Skills in handling matters which President Akufo-Addo is endowed with – we pray he would turn things around in the troubled country.

In matters of negotiations especially in political crisis as the one in Togo, compromise should be allowed to play a central role. Both government and opposition parties, as the President said, should consider the overwhelming interest of the country: Togo and her people.

We the people of Ghana and our neighbours in Togo should join hands in ensuring that there is a game changer in that country so that democracy, in the true sense of the word, is allowed to play out and to remain a feature of the country’s politics and in the future.

Columnist: dailyguideafrica.com