Peace is by God’s grace
After days of prayer and fasting to seek divine intervention for the prevalence of peace in the country, religious leaders are praising God for granting Ghana peaceful atmosphere after the Supreme Court judgement on the 2012 election petition.
According to them, the current peace in the country was not the design of any human factor, but the sheer grace of God, considering the fact that similar circumstances had plunged many African countries into civil conflict.
Ghana had been flung into a state of apprehension prior to the Supreme Court judgement last Thursday, as many people stayed indoors for fear of chaos after the ruling.
But the religious leaders told the Daily Graphic today that they believed God was in control of the affairs of the nation.
A renowned Muslim cleric, Sheikh Mahmoud M. Gedel, said God, in His own wisdom and sympathy for the nation, had made it possible for peace to prevail in the country.
“It’s not that we are special. We should not deceive ourselves that we did something. It’s by the sheer grace of God to bestow this success on us,” he submitted.
Sheikh Gedel, who is also a member of the National Peace Council, said although prayers by the various religious bodies for peace were good, “it is not our prayer that has ensured peace; people in other countries also pray, but they experience civil conflict”.
“The history that we’ve made for Africa and the rest of the world is very important. I believe it will guide our politicians and the rest of society that conflict is not the way to go. There is the need for negotiation, dialogue and mediation to resolve conflict,” he said.
Sheikh Gedel said Ghanaians had demonstrated that peace was achievable, if people submitted to God’s will.
“We have done what God wanted from us by using our reasoning faculty. We’ve shown to other countries in Africa that it’s important to submit to the tenets of good reasoning. We pray to God to bless that effort,” he said.
Sheikh Gedel said the election petition had proved that democracy was not only about consensus; it was also about dissensus, and so there was the need to celebrate both, in order to move the country’s democracy forward.
The Presiding Bishop of the Perez Chapel International, Most Rev. Dr Charles Agyinasare, said intercessory prayer by religious groups was a major factor in the prevailing peaceful atmosphere.
He said the church had also sensitised its members, who cut across the political divide, on the need to avoid acts that undermined the peace.
Most Rev. Dr Agyinasare said he was happy that the Supreme Court judges had brought the case to a conclusion and that all the parties involved, including Nana Akufo-Addo, had accepted the judgement.
“It shows that as a people, we are prepared to move forward,” he said, adding that Ghanaians should consider the outcome of the election petition as having enhanced the development of the country’s democracy.
On the way forward, Most Rev. Dr Agyinasare said it was obvious that certain things went wrong in the 2012 elections and so this was an opportunity for all the stakeholders in the electoral system to play their respective roles to address those challenges.
He stressed the need to demystify elections in the country, and avoid the tension that often characterised them.
“Our elections should not be a ‘do-or-die’ affair. We must go past that bridge,” he said.
Most Rev. Dr Agyinasare said while in the US during the last American election, there was no tension in that country and life went on.
He said politicians should not consider elections as a finality of their existence because they would always have another opportunity to serve the nation.
The President of the Ghana Psychic and Traditional Healers Association, Torgbi Massa Alowonu Adenyo, said spiritualists in the country knew the election petition would end peacefully.
He said it was important for all Ghanaians to comply with the Supreme Court judgement and forge ahead.
Torgbi Adenyo particularly commended Nana Akufo-Addo for graciously accepting the judgement.
“I was surprised he congratulated President Mahama immediately after the verdict,” he remarked.