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Opinions Fri, 11 Dec 2020

Peace is Ghana’s oxygen

It hasn’t been long since the US presidential election was held peacefully.

Undoubtedly, it dominated international headlines. Ghana is gearing up for a high-stakes electoral contest. On December 7, 2020, Ghanaians will go to the polls for the eighth time since the ushering in of a democratic dispensation in 1992.

As a writer, I am always at work. When I am not writing I must be listening, observing, researching, or reading. I can't afford to be idle without having Ghana in my thoughts. I love her.

Each day even just like today, I am thinking about her especially when we’ve 4 days to the 2020 general elections. At the same time, I am thinking of you my readers as well. Our ability to live today and the days towards the 7th with peace and love matters.

Peace is the oxygen of the people of Ghana. With every drop of water Ghanaians drink, every breath Ghanaians take, Ghana must be connected to the peace of 7th December Polls. Peace is the oxygen upon which Ghana will thrive.

Elections are competitive processes by which leaders gain public office. In many African countries, these processes are fraught with irregularities and have been the contributory factor to countless armed conflicts.

However, Ghana’s exceptionalism as an “Island of peace” in a zone of war still stands tall. We must not jeopardize it for anything. We’ve largely been experiencing very peaceful electoral processes and this one shouldn't be anything different. We’ve been characterized by peace and tranquility.

Peace is the foundation of every successful country. Peace secures the future and destinies of nations. Peace builds unity and togetherness. The opposite is true. Disruptive elections destroy lives and properties. Disruptive elections impoverish not just people, but many generations to come. It leads to an uncertain future for the children and the youth. Trained and productive human capital is lost and many more setbacks ensued.

At the end of the 7th December Polls, we should make Ghana’s democratic torch shine even more brighter as a beacon and epitome of democracy and good governance in Africa and the world.

Regardless of our individual differences, we still have a responsibility of upholding and defending the name of Ghana through the following advisory ways;

i. Be deliberately responsible as a political leader. Be responsible in the information you disseminate to the people. Don’t hide behind communication elements to propagate vice whilst you preach peace elsewhere.

ii. To us the people, let's be wise. At the end of the day, someone’s father has gotten a job and his families become a state asset forever. You remain an ordinary citizen till a miracle occurs.

iii. Vote wisely and go back home. No insults or insinuations. If there’s a need to witness the counts, do that without infringing on anyone’s right. Don't die before development happens.

iv. All the security agencies that may be providing security at the various polling stations, must ensure that they effectively deal with issues that threaten the security and peace of the state.

v. The youth especially students as the conscience of the nation should critically evaluate the policies of the various political parties before making a choice based on competence. Moreover, this election should transcend tribal and religious barriers because we are not one ethnic or religious group or the other; rather we are a collection of Ghanaians.

vi. The Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s), the National Peace Council, leaders of religious organizations and Chiefs, should condemn any plan by any political party especially the major ones (NDC & NPP) to misinform Ghanaians and to create fear and panic in the country.

Current situations in the country show that the taste buds of political parties hungrily want to taste political power. But they shouldn’t undermine the successful and peaceful elections track record of mother Ghana. They shouldn’t prepare any recipes for disaster all in an attempt to capture power.

Every Ghanaian shouldn’t allow politics to cloud common sense. We should allow the elections to be refracted with peaceful lenses. The willingness to support violence because of partisanship is like depriving Ghana of the oxygen it needs to exist. This election will undoubtedly pass the test, and Ghana will again emerge victoriously.
Columnist: Bright Philip Donkor, Contributor
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