Opinions Mon, 8 Jul 2013

Ghana's political parties must expel violent members

It is alarming that violence-prone individuals who go into politics in Ghana, can rise to positions of influence, in the country's political parties.

One often wonders, whether it ever strikes the short-sighted and verbally-aggressive amongst our nation's political class - such as the Stephen Atubiga's and the Anthony Karbo's - that what ordinary people across Ghana crave above all else, is that their nation's educated urban elites will have the wisdom, to enable Ghana avoid the terrible fate that befell sister African nations, in which violence and chaos turned the lives of ordinary people completely upside down.

It is in light of the sentiments expressed above, that one particularly hopes that journalists in Ghana, will come to understand that when our nation faces an existential threat, it is vital that they immediately stop serving the parochial interests of both the politicians who wield power, and the opposition politicians who seek to replace those serving in governments of the day.

Since we appear to be faced with just such a moment in our history, has the time not come for those in the Ghanaian media, who are guilty of it, to put aside blinkered partisan politics, and start being proactive in supporting the ongoing work amongst peace-loving individuals and organisations, to help keep Ghana peaceful and stable?

Perhaps the media could make a start in that direction, by demanding that the most influential politicians in Ghana (across the spectrum) give an undertaking to ordinary people, that they will never allow the tragedies that befell Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast to occur in Ghana.

Were such a terrible and avoidable man-made disaster to occur here, because political parties refused to put the national interest ahead of their selfish concerns, there is no question that it would set our nation back decades - and we might probably never recover from the destruction of the national economy that will result from any widespread violence and chaos in Ghana.

And as sure as day follows night, countrywide poverty of the most harrowing kind, will follow in the wake of such a meltdown of the Ghanaian economy.

To avoid such a fate, surely, it is time all the political parties in Ghana acted, to isolate those in their midst with a violent disposition - including the verbally aggressive men and women, who on a daily basis, are engaged in the never-ending propaganda war in Ghana's print and electronic media?

To help keep Ghana peaceful and stable - and as a good governance measure to restore confidence in them amongst ordinary Ghanaians - political parties in Ghana must act quickly to expel the violent amongst their membership. A word to the wise...

Columnist: Kofi Thompson