Since when did the alternative become violence?

Voters Register 2 620x406 voters registration

Tue, 4 Aug 2020 Source: Gad Peter Agbayiza

In a recent past we thought that political office has only become the path and avenues for self-enrichment but judging from the happenings of today, it is now evident that political office is also an avenue for indulging in violence activities.

Our political actors should know that we have not yet forgotten how Capt. Edmund Koda, the then head of security details of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo invited three former South Africa police officers to train fifteen young men in the Central Region.

We have also not forgotten how citizenry were inhumanly treated in Ayawaso West Wuogon during the Bye-election. Neither did we forget how a claimed national security officer who was not in uniform attempted to shoot an MP's security officer at registration centres in Kumasi.

I am yet to know why our political elites who have to do more in providing our basic needs should indulge in fight over the electoral role. Irrespective of our political ideology, socio-economic, and our ethnic diversities, we must condemn violence acts.

When Mrs. Jean Mensa EC lead administration announced that the voters registration would begun on June 30, many of us were wondering how violence-free it would be not knowing some high ranking members who would have known better would indulge in processes that would make the registration centres unsafe for registrants. Indeed, the Constitution excludes some persons from exercising their political rights.

That is to say that persons below eighteen years of age, foreigners, mentally challenged, and non residents are not allowed to register. The Constitution has not failed to spell out correctly the modalities on which one would be prevented from registering.

However, all these modalities and 'Challege forms' provided by the Electoral Commission were not regarded by Hon. Hawa Koomson when she had the information that there was irregularities at one of her registration centres in Kasoa. She neglected them all and resorted to what she thought was better off than what ought to be done.

Few weeks ago, it was reported that the member of Parliament for Awutu Senya East Constituency who also double as the minister for Special Development Initiatives went to one of the registration centres in her constituency when she was informed that the NDC officials were bussing people at dawn to her Constituency to have them get registered.

The report made it clear that she went there with about fifteen of her men and when she got there, she feeled her life was threatened so she fired warning shot to scarce off the thugs.

The press statement put it simple; "Upon seeing the danger posed by these thugs on motorbikes who were attacking her unarmed team close to the polling station, the Member of Parliament quickly gave a warning shot in the air in self-defense to scare off the thugs,”.

Guess what would have happened should other parties royals revolted against the act of the Hon. Minister Mavis Hawa Koomson. If stonebwoy who feeled threatened on stage is charged of displaying weapon in a public place without permission why should Hon. Hawa koomson not been charged for doing same?.

Is she above the law or Stonebwoy did not have right to defend himself when he feeled threatened? Even if her justification was true, why didn't her use democratic means to deal with the matter and bring the perpertrators to book?. Why has government decided not to take pragmatic steps against election violence?.

Should we now say that this system failure is as a result of ineptitude?. It cannot be far-fetched that the conduct of some of these politicians and public office holders is the main reason why politics has become increasingly unattractive to many qualified people.

I think we must learn how to associate ourselves with some of our politicians especially all those who are vehemently defending the act of violence by Hon. Koomson else, little intimidation we may cause them would lead to our death and when that happens, we would not be alive to narrate our part of the story.

While the nation is battling with electoral violence, some business men and women in Abbosey Okai have also changed the atmosphere of our security without mediatating on how xenophobic attack started few months ago in South Africa.

Mr. Elvis Effah; the chief editor of the 'The mouthpiece' asked pertinent question during the xenophobic attack in South Africa when many Nigerians shops were set ablazed, some persons were murdered, and others left severely injured after been accused of many illegal acts.

A question which every well meaning nation lovers need to answer "Xenophobic attack in South Africa, 'is violence the way to go' ?" This question keeps dangling in my mind since July 30, 2020, when Joynews reported that Ghanaian spare parts traders lock-up shops of their Nigerian counterparts at Abossey Okai with their reasons being; 'The laws of Ghana do not allow foreigners to engage in retail trade', and 'also accuse the Nigerians of selling substandard products at cheap prices'. Nigerians were accused of some of these acts in South Africa and it escalated to loss of life and properties.

I need not be a prophet or soothsayer to say Ghana is not far from this if injustice continues. The mere fact that the leadership of the Nigerian Traders Association of Ghana urging their members to resist the attacks from the locals is clear invident that what happened in South Africa could also happen in Ghana if government fails to take pragmatic steps and speak vehemently against the incidence.

Fellow Ghanaians let us not allow our political actors to take us back to the military regime, a regime which undermines fundamental human right, a regime which does not know that there is a difference between human beings and animals, a regime which does worst than good to the country. Let us remind them that they are not better than others, whatever they seem to enjoy is God's grace.

Ghana needs democratic governance and a prevailing rule of law.

I am calling on all the youths to disappoint political actors who would want to use them for election violence to win power.

The best we could do our beloved country is to show all the violence politicians the exit door. In doing this, we would leave a good footprint for the whole world to see, and in fact, that would make us alive in the great memories of others even when we rest in our graves.

Columnist: Gad Peter Agbayiza