Feature Article of Saturday, 22 December 2012

Columnist: Wondoh, John

A Step Further In Our Journey

Once again we have proven to the whole world that Ghana is indeed a democratic country. We have experienced another peaceful election and we thank GOD for bringing us this far. Ghana has continually grown in democracy against all odds. From 1992, the people of Ghana gladly accepted democracy and have hence worked for its advancement.

It is obvious that democracy comes with its challenges and with each challenge we face and overcome, our democracy is strengthened even more. We are in a very critical point in this journey – the ultimate test of our democracy. The voice of the people must not be taken for granted. It would be unwise to have an election to select the president of a country only to discover that the winner of the election is actually not the people’s choice.

Events of manipulation of electoral results to favour a particular political party only undermine the voice of the people. It is not uncommon to find political parties complaining of manipulation of electoral results; especially, the parties that lost. These issues led to the introduction of the biometric voters ID cards in this year’s election. However, the problem of rigging of elections seems to have evolved to still exist even in this present system. Perhaps, the Electoral Commission (EC) should find a foolproof method of annihilating this canker.

Once people have in their minds that the sitting president only won the elections because he cheated, they would not give him the necessary respect and supports to enable him govern the country efficiently and effectively. In this year’s election, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won the elections but is being accused by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to have bribed the EC to manipulate the results in their favour.

Well, this is a very serious allegation but the NPP says that they have proof that would incriminate both the ruling party, NDC and the EC. They have since been gathering more evidence and making their case very strong before they proceed to court. Well, many people are not in support of this step even including some NPP members because according to them, NPP should ‘just let it go’.

In my own opinion, I think the right thing must always be done so that we do not go back when things become tough in the future, wondering why we never exterminated the problem from the root. The issue of rigging of elections is a very serious matter that can even plunge the country into war if care is not taken. Therefore, justice must prevail and the issue should be solved in court.

I believe the verdict of the Supreme Court is going to bring calmness from the present tension we are experiencing. If NDC wins, then nobody would feel cheated and President John Dramani Mahama would be able govern the country more effectively. However, on the other hand, if NPP wins, then we know NDC actually rigged the elections and therefore must suffer the repercussions of their actions. This is the knowledge people need to calm themselves down - to know that you have lost or won fairly.

Now since the NPP have decided to solve the matter in court, they should try as much as possible to persuade their supporters to be patient and wait for the verdict of the court. Both political parties should be ready to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court to ensure that the peace and serenity in our beloved nation is not disturbed. They should also ensure that their loyal supporters do not take the law into their own hands and cause confusion.

It has become obvious that some of the supporters of the New Patriotic Party are expressing their displeasure through vandalism and attacks on NDC supporters. Their leaders should please try as much as possible to call their supporters to order. This is in the interest of both their party and the nation as a whole. Some of these supporters have taken their displeasure to a level that is not necessary. These actions threaten both the peace and the stability of the nation and the very essence of democracy. It is also creating a bad image for the party both in Ghana and the international community. As the leaders of NPP rightly said, they would respect the verdict of the Supreme Court. They should therefore find ways and means to ensure that their loyal supporters fall in line with their decision.

As Pastor Mensa Otabil rightly said, “Although we may have political preferences we must have the character to rise above partisanship”. Long live DEMOCRACY – long live GHANA. GOD bless us all. By John Wondoh johnwondoh@yahoo.com +233245957156