Feature Article of Friday, 15 June 2012
Columnist: Jackson, Margaret
By Margaret Jackson
June 14, 2012
Many Ghanaians know Mr. Kwaku Sintim-Misa, popularly known as KSM, as an ace comedian who can make you laugh all night long till your bowels burst out. He is good at what he does best and do what he loves best very seriously and religiously. In fact, any news flash about KSM normally has to do with his show which always generate new fans and admirers.
Therefore, if you read a letter written by KSM to an imaginary foot soldier published on www.myjoyonline.com on Tuesday June 12, 2012 which talks about the terrible effects of war and the blessings currently being enjoyed by peace-loving Ghanaians, then you have to pause for a reflection on that wonderful piece.
Mr. Kwaku Sintim-Misa, in that letter inferred categorically that it is not strategic or tactical for any politician to inform his/her supporters that victory for their party is inevitable or predictable. Politicians normally campaign and hope to win elections but they have no business insisting that they have to be the overall winners or else… In fact, KSM stated in the letter that he was jolted or shocked when he heard a politician informing his supporters that if the results of the elections were not declared in their favour, there will be a Rwanda in Ghana.
It is true that this year’s elections slated for December 7, 2012, is going to be a much heated one, and that the party that hopes to be crowned the eventual winner has to do a lot of leg work. It is also true that the up-coming elections may be fierier than the last general elections in 2008. But what Ghanaians and party faithful of all the parties have to know is that when the pieces settle at the end of the elections, and the results are announced, win or lose, Ghanaians have to move on.
I am so thrilled by a quote from KSM’s letter which states, “As a young leader, you should understand the importance of inspiring hope without planting seeds of agitation. As a young leader you should master the ability to ignite in them unconditional optimism. You should be able to get them to understand that win or lose, life must go on, win or lose challenges must be met, win or lose it is not the end of their lives. Your reference to a possible Rwanda in Ghana broke my heart.”
Mr. Kwaku Sintim-Misa emphasized that, “It is very dangerous for any foot soldier OF ANY party to plant the minds of the young enthusiastic followers, that victory is inevitable, but even more dangerous is to prepare their minds for violence if the election results do not favour them.”
The first rated comedian who elaborated on what he saw in Rwanda last year during his visit to that country, was very emphatic in stating that, “Trust me, if I had enough money, I would sponsor all the foot soldiers to go to Rwanda just to visit the war memorial. It is a frightening sight to behold and it reveals the painful truth of how human beings can degenerate into the lowest state of inhumanity. It is a striking evidence of how cruel human being can be. The memorial is a huge museum containing hundreds of thousands of human skulls, and you could actually see the cracks in the skull from cutlasses and machetes, there were thousands of limbs and skeletal remains. These were the remains of all the people that were massacred in that conflict.”
If you happen to read that beautiful piece by KSM, which is worth reading by all politicians, especially those who are seeing this up-coming elections as their last break in life, you can deduce that KSM is calling the attention of Ghanaians to tone down on their inflammatory statements which has the propensity to burn innocent citizens if it catches fire. I personally would love Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, NPPs National Chair, and the man who saw death starring him in his face in way back Liberia but had to be rescued under a thin shade of thread to go and read this article or letter by KSM and ponder over it.
I would also like the other NPP executives who are calling for mayhem in this country if the electoral commission does not declare them winners in the December 7 elections to equally read the letter and do some soul searching and reflections. Many, many Ghanaians do not like what is currently going on with one party thinking that they have to win the up-coming elections at all cost otherwise Ghana has to burn as a result. How can you declare yourself a winner in a boxing contest when the referee has not even signaled the boxers to start the first round? This is an unparalleled stand by a political party which must be frowned upon by all peace-loving Ghanaians.
I doff my hats off for KSM who did not mince words in stating that, “I understand that as foot soldiers you owe your party a duty to inspire people to vote for the party. And I wish you all the best in that endeavour. But Ghana is bigger than any party. Ghana was here before the party and Ghana will be here after the party, so at no point, I mean absolutely no point, should we sacrifice the peace of Ghana on the altar of the interest of any political party’s desire either to win or to stay in power. It is better to live in a peaceful, tranquil country under a party I did not vote for than to live in a war-ridden chaotic country under a party I voted for. For what shall it profit us, if we gain political power and preside over a war-torn country?”
As a country, we currently have a National Peace Council (NPC), headed by a respected Bishop of the Methodist Church. The council, I am informed is doing all it can with political stakeholders to avert any political violence which can bring the country down on its knees. Since Obetsebi-Lamptey has seen war before and is one of the perpetrators of the “win at all cost” battle-cry, I am appealing to the NPC to organize lectures and invite Jake to tell Ghanaians about his nightmarish experiences in Liberia to put on notice members of his party who are thinking in that same direction like him.
I should not be the one to ask Jake to help in promoting peace in the country, because having experienced the terrible effects of war, he should rather be the biggest voice in toning down the rabble-rousing comments of his NPP colleagues. But it seems money, power and prestige has made Jake to forget where he was some two decades ago before being rescued from the clutches of death.
I can go to bed a happy lady, knowing very well that there are other concerned Ghanaians like KSM who are unhappy about the way some people want to wrestle power at all cost, and plunge the country into unnecessary war if their desires are not met by the power of the thumb. Mr. Sintim-Misa also said something which is worthy of quote, “Your influence in the party is like the wind; your foot soldiers are like the grass. The grass will always bend in the direction of the wind: if you declare violence, your foot soldiers will oblige, if you declare peace, your foot soldiers will oblige. The power is in your hands. Use it wisely.”
I urge all Ghanaians to go and read that wonderful Godly inspired piece by KSM and think about what others want to do if they do not win power by clean means. Ghana belongs to all of us. It is not the property of a few people or a certain party. We all have a stake in it, therefore, we should not sit down unconcerned for that few people to turn our hard won freedom into sorrow. Some countries have seen it before and have not yet recovered from the scars. And I do not think Ghana wants to be the next victim.
We are a much smarter nation and people. We do not want weeping and gnashing on our streets and homes. In fact we Ghanaians do not want to be another voice heard in Ramah, of weeping and great mourning, with Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.