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Opinions Thu, 17 Dec 2015

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Unusual by-election

Unlike other by-elections the Amenfi West one was relatively uneventful, but for one incident which threatened the clean record. The Chereponi, Atiwa and Talensi ones were marred by worrying security distractions, memories of which caused apprehension in residents, political parties and security personnel detailed to ensure that law and order prevailed.

It sounds almost weird that we find it unusual when by-elections are held with little or no incidents. If we are able to maintain the momentum which greeted the polls in Amenfi West, we will have changed the image of politics, especially elections in the country somewhat.

As noted by observers, the pre-election days were generally peaceful: a countrywide wish for a deviation from the negative characteristics of by-elections in the country appears to have held sway.

At the end of the polls both the major players – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the smaller ones which took part in the polls – had no reason to frown at the outcome.

While the NDC is justifiably pleased it has retained the seat, albeit with a staggering reduced figure, its NPP counterpart is excited that it has closed the gap between it and its opponent.

We hope that the lessons from the unnecessary skirmishes and even bloodletting recorded in previous polls played a part in preventing a recurrence in the Amenfi West constituency by-election.

The need to avoid violence in elections cannot be overemphasised and so as the campaign season warms up, it is our appeal to politicians to consider the bigger picture of Ghana and ensure that discipline prevails in whatever we do as a people belonging to the same country and sharing a similar destiny.

Shedding blood over political power should not be a feature of politics in any decent and civilised society. Equally inappropriate is the creation of a ‘machomen’ industry to provide criminal services to politicians.

It is our take that there is no need for such men who spend time and money to build muscles so they would pass the examination of politicians who require their services.

Educated persons, when they use their statuses to foment trouble by paying thugs to beat up and inflict bodily harm on their opponents, are being irresponsible and unworthy of the educated tag they flaunt. Education, which they must use to advance the cause of the nation’s development, would have been reduced to nothingness if it yields negative dividends.

The industry of thugs is peopled by the unfortunate members of society who failed to acquire the education enough to make them sneer at invitations to go and run riot and assault innocent persons on mercenary basis.

It is our prayer that the relative peace which underpinned the Amenfi West by-election would be replicated in the general election that is almost beckoning the nation.

We would use this opportunity to congratulate all, security agents, politicians and above all the residents of the constituency, on contributing to the relative tranquillity that enveloped the constituency as the by-election lasted.

Columnist: Daily Guide

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