Feature Article of Sunday, 2 December 2012

Columnist: Osei, Mensah Michael

Election 2012, Be your Brother’s Keeper as a Ghanaian.

On Friday 7th December,2012, Ghanaians will go to polls for the sixth time under the Fourth Republic to elect a President and Parliamentarians.We need to protect our ever enviable national peace and freedom. As Ghanaians living in foreign lands, we have an equal stake in the welfare of Ghana as our compatriots back home. Chaos in Ghana will be our collective failure. Therefore, in times like this, we need to participate in the awareness creation process which is a prerequisite to ensuring lasting peace.

Some Ghanaian diasporans have organized prayers and forums for the forthcoming elections. I want to congratulate them and also encourage others to emulate this gesture. The nation Ghana is the pride of every Ghanaian and collectively, we need to protect it by allowing its complete interest to surpass all partisan interests.

For our own sake, Ghana must stand tall at all times. Today politics is at its peak in our country. It is our responsibility to remind ourselves that, we simply have to focus on ideas, issues and solutions that will relieve us of national bottlenecks. The use of intemperate languages can only tantamount to destabilization of peace.

The electoral franchise is an exercise for all Ghanaians irrespective of our tribal or political association. Therefore, it is not meant to divide us. It is an exercise predestined to unite us in power and to endow us with the vision to eliminate miseries and ills out of our country. Voting for people in power simply confirms one's desire to see continuity. It is a noble right. On the other hand the same franchise offers the possibility to change people in power. It is also a noble right. Note that nobody has more than one vote.

Electoral Campaign must be seen as a period of debate and education. We must not confuse judicial issues with relevant arguments for the continuity or change of our leaders. We must correct others and put them on guard against issues that can bring about anarchy. Be your brother's keeper for mutual peace; together, we must rule out mayhem.

We must elect in Peace; and we must live in Peace after the elections. Forever Ghana must progress.

One song keeps uniting Ghanaians since 6th March, 1957. It is our national anthem composed by Sir. Phillip Comi Gbeho of blessed memory, in his God's given wisdom; he composed our national anthem in a form of prayer. Consider the words of the anthem and you will understand why Ghana lives in distinction under God's divine favour.

Ghana has earned the reference mark on the practice of democracy in Africa. This is the reason why President Obama singled her out as the destination for his first visit to the continent. The world is watching us and we are an inspiration to many. We should desist from acts that would mar these credentials. To maintain and advance it, we need to work collectively and unceasingly on it.

We have advanced in the practice of good co-existence. That is all what life is about; even political opponents must be esteemed because we need them to make the political process more meaningful and accepted. We must shine brighter across the lights of our differences.

Fellow Ghanaians, there is no Party A Ghana or Party B Ghana. The issue of our forthcoming elections will single out a Ghanaian as our President; each of our numerous constituencies will also select a Ghanaian brother or sister to represent it in Parliament.

It sounds simple but to maintain our integrity, we must resort to the self-control attitude that we possess as Ghanaians.

Christmas is close and this is my wish:

May we respect our neighbours,

May we stay out of trouble,

May the angels of our blessed homeland protect us,

May God accept our peace prayers,

Happy Elections to you all and Merry Christmas to you all.

Hon. Osei Mensah Michael

GHACIF President. Paris.