Human beings, by nature, have different belief systems, values, opinions, needs, and interests that often result in conflicts when there is failure in finding common grounds.
Conflict has been defined in the literature as “a clash between individuals arising out of difference in thoughts process, attitudes, understanding, interests, requirements, and even sometimes perception.”
So long as human beings exist, there is bound to be conflicts in society.
Notably, conflict is driven by a sense of grievances, including inequality, cultural or moral difference and distribution of power.
Conflict helps to reveal the existence of problems in society for solutions to be found.
Political analysts have cited election as one of the causes of violence since the emergence of multiparty democracy in the West Africa sub region in the 1990s.
Violent conflict is a threat to peace, security and democratic governance.
We in Ghana are blessed to have scaled over another highly-competitive election in a relatively peaceful manner.
However, there are pockets of post-election ugly scenes that are sources of concern for the security and stability of the country.
It is part of democratic governance for people to voice their grievances over electoral results, as part of efforts in deepening and entrenching sustainable democratic culture in the country.
In doing so, we urge the aggrieved parties to place above all things the national interest of the need to maintain the peace and stability, by using the laid-down procedures to address their concerns and not resort to violent demonstrations.
There are solutions to all problems. We, as a country, are capable of solving our electoral problems through the court, which is the avenue for the peaceful resolution of a conflict.
Indeed, the former president and Presidential Candidate of National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama, has demonstrated his commitment to peace and security by using legitimate means to challenge the results of the December 7, 2020 general election, as declared by the Electoral Commission.
While we applaud him for his commitment to peace and security in the country, we also add our voice to calls to him to let cool heads prevail!
We have already recorded some deaths and injuries in violent incidents across the country.
Certainly, this does not speak well of a country that has been touted as a beacon of democracy and oasis of peace in a turbulent sub-region by the international community.
The challenge now is how to hold steady and allow the due process to take its course for us to move on in unity and peace while pursuing our common destiny.
We wish to remind the various political stakeholders, especially the two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress, of the peace pact they appended their signature to, prior to the elections.
We also urge civil society organisations, the National Peace Council, traditional leaders, and religious leaders to help in peace building efforts towards keeping post-election Ghana peaceful and stable.
Democracy is evolving in Ghana. We have chosen democracy as a pathway to development in a contemporary society. Elections are key to democratic governance. They come with challenges but, electoral challenges are not insurmountable.
It is for this reason that we reiterate the need to use laid-down channels to address any electoral grievance and let us move on in peace!