27 November 2012

Ghana: Commitment Is the Key to Peace

Photo: Ghana Govt
President John Dramani Mahama at his swearing in ceremony. (file photo).


In spite of assurances from the leaders of political parties and individuals contesting the 2012 Presidential and Legislative Elections, there remained a number of flashpoints across the country. The notion that some machomen have been hired to disrupt the vote in strongholds of particular political parties, still looms large on the elections.

We are happy to learn that with the political atmosphere reaching boiling point, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has, in collaboration with the National Peace Council, invited all candidates in the 2012 Presidential Elections to a meeting at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

We are told that at the meeting, scheduled to begin at 10: a.m., all presidential candidates and their party leaders would be mandated to swear an oath that would mandate them and their followers to conduct the December 7 vote, devoid of acrimony and bitterness.

What would interest most Ghanaians is that this morning's event would be beamed live to Ghanaians wherever they may be. The programme, we learn, is a collaborative effort of the Ghana Peace Council and the Manhyia Palace.

The Chronicle welcomes the initiative. We expect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party to look eye-ball to eye-ball with President John Dramani Mahama, who is also the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress. The Progressive People's Party Chief, Papa Kwesi Nduom, will meet with Dr. Abu Sakara, bidding to put the Cockerel at Government House for the first time, since the return to Constitutional rule in 1993.

After allegations that he sent his men to raid the Citi FM studios in a search and destroy operation at the weekend, Mr. Hassan Ayariga will head for the Kumasi meeting this morning. What The Chronicle cannot vouch for is which of the many factions in the People's National Convention would accompany him.

One thing that should interest the hapless citizens of this nation at the wrong end of the economic miracle is that the commitment of all leaders, including Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission, and Chief Justice Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, would be pledged before a large audience at the Great Hall, as well as millions who will follow the event on television across the country.

The Chronicle hopes that the commitment to peace, to be given by the leaders of all political parties and various stakeholders in the elections, would stem the tide of violence which appears to be rearing its ugly head, while we all stand and stare.

With the election 10 days away, we would like a commitment from leaders of these political parties that the message would be communicated to their supporters at the grassroots level, where violence usually manifests itself.

The Chronicle is urging Otumfuo, and all those who have called today's meeting, not to treat the political leaders with kid gloves. They have to get them to commit themselves and their parties to lasting peace, while we head to the polls on December 7.

While Ghana may not be Rwanda, Cote d'Ivoire or Kenya, we would like to remind all of us that no groups of human beings deliberately go out of their way to declare or stage wars. It is the feeling that one side of the political divide is taking advantage of the vulnerability of the other to cheat that galvanises the weaker side to become monstrous.

At the end of the day, the key to peaceful elections is founded on the willingness to co-operate with each other. Ghana was born in peace, it has no right to suddenly become violent!

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