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Opinions of Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Columnist: dailyguideafrica.com

The beauty of unity in democratic governance


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“For too long, we have focused on our differences—in our politics and backgrounds, in our race and beliefs—rather than cherishing the unity and pride that binds us together.” - Bob Riley

As Ghana has achieved another feat in the electoral journey of her political hegemony, there is the need to take sober reflections on how she has fared in an effort to safeguard the unity and peace as an enviable object to other nations across the globe.

Democratic governance devoid of unity is a bane of national development. Decades of Ghana’s independence could have catapulted this nation into political maturity, real independent state and respect for one another on divergent opinions on governance.

Has the marathon dispensation of Ghana’s independence not registered any impact on the citizenry? As citizens, have we really understood, or yet to understand that we are one people, one nation, with a common destiny?

Why do we fight one another on mere political fanaticism, if we say we are one people, one nation, with a common destiny? Or is it just mere trumpet of a slogan we blow into the ears of the sub-Saharan African region and the world as a whole?

If we are to portray the reality of such slogan, have we failed by recalling the mayhem and barbaric acts in some quarters of this country in which precious lives and properties lost?

The political ancestors heckled the colonial rulers with a struggle for freedom and justice for Ghanaians. Are we enjoying the freedom and justice? It is expected that the legacy the political ancestors bequeathed be shielded against any forms of disunity, acrimony and rancour.

Have we really enjoyed a meaningful taste of such legacy from the day of the attainment of Independence to date?

A river without water

Democracy is not a libertarian form of expression of opinions that breed acrimonious sentiments in which people of a country of the same destiny should fight among themselves.

Have we fared well in safeguarding the noble and worthy slogan of the freedom and justice imprinted on the Ghana Coat of Arms?

We need to go beyond our individual interests and in the interest of justice to avoid all emotional feelings for ourselves and render our verdicts solely on realities to check the roles some of us have played to have precipitated some forms of acrimony, divisiveness and rancour at some quarters, which had led to some forms of barbaric acts in this country.

Even though human beings are not paragons of virtue, yet, concerted effort is key to uniting this country to bear true resemblance for peace stability to prevail.

The rays of unity now beam a signal on Ghana and it is a challenge to prove her worth of truly being a peaceful country where refugees from other war-zone countries are accommodated.

The only hurdle left for us to jump over is to put our hands on deck to keep the flame of unity burning every nook and cranny of this country irrespective of one’s social status, ethnic group, party affiliation, and gender.

Traditional ideologies in multi-party democracy are not a means to breed enmity among political parties. If we have come to terms that dictatorial form of governance is not good for a country and, therefore, resolved to tow the path of democracy, then divergent opinions must not divide us.

As Ghana thrives on the path of democracy, the time is ripe for us to know that divergent ideologies in multi-party democracy serve as a tool for effective development. That is why there is a common saying that “two heads are better than one”.

We must also understand that if we are not united, which is a fundamental factor in democratic governance, we will always see differences in opinion as enmity, and that is detrimental to nation building.

We need to come to terms, that collation of divergent opinion from all quarters is a factor of development. That is why the parliament house has representatives from different political ideologies.

If we have understood that our differences in opinion in governance is the only way a nation can develop, then who fights who?

The media as a “unifying factor”

The media need to do more to sensitise the citizenry to the essence of national unity. Good news is no news, but bad news is news to some media. Why do we keep our good garments in the wardrobes and outdoor the filthy ones alone? That is a paradoxical practice.

The media is a sensitive tool in nation building and need to be proactive in the discharge of responsibilities.

The First World War was triggered by a journalist.

When the media fail to dwell more on what unites the nation but rather disseminate information that instigates the masses, there will be disunity, acrimony and rancour, which go a long way to affect the unity of the nation.

Politicians and parents role

To achieve national unity politicians and parents’ roles are paramount. Modesty, magnanimity, self-sacrificing with leadership qualities are recipe of unity.

There have been allegations citing some politicians who incited some youth against their fellow politicians.

To some extent, some of the allegations have brewed mayhem at some quarters of this country where precious lives and properties have been lost.

If politicians and parents do not come to terms that differences in opinion is not enmity, then the country will live under the cloud of divisiveness.

A shepherd cares for the flock and prevents the animals from going astray during grazing. Politicians and parents have leadership roles to play in nurturing their followers to acknowledge the essence of differences in opinion in democratic governance.

There have been instances where married couples have divorced and there has been discrepancy between parents and children owing to choice of political party.

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