You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2008 11 25Article 153476

Opinions of Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Columnist: Asamoah, Gordon Newlove

Election 2008: why is everybody asking for peace?

I have witnessed elections both in Ghana and outside Ghana and never has there been the need to preach for so much peace. Everybody in every corner is talking about peace. The reason is not farfetched, Ghana is the only country we have and cannot afford to live our lives like countries surrounding us which are engaging in war.

Peace we must have after the election 2008. For me, peace is the prime concern of everyone but what most of us have lost sight of, is the process that brings about peace and war. Peace and war are end products of justice and injustice respectively, so we should be preaching more justice and as far as the election is concerned we should be talking about free and fair elections and once we have free and fair elections, peace will be natural for us to enjoy. If you look at Zimbabwe, it is not because the people there are not peace loving but they are fighting because of the process leading to the election and what went on during and after the elections. We can preach all the peace messages that we want, we can even bring the Pope to Ghana to pray for peace but if the elections are not free and fair, the peace cannot be guaranteed.

In 1992, the NPP felt the presidential election was not free and fair so they boycotted the parliamentary elections and after that Pro. Adu Boahen wrote the stolen verdict. In 2000 everybody was happy with the process and we had peaceful transition in the country. In 2004 we had free and fair elections (with those who were not entirely happy with some aspect of the process rightly went to court), this is how we should go even if we are not entirely happy with the process.

I have seen people taking peace walks, peace football matches, peace concerts and anything to do with peace, but there is no or little of those walks, football matches, etc about free and fair elections. But we should know people go to war when they feel cheated.

We have to trust the Electoral Commission to do its best and educate the election agents to ensure the processes and everything about the Elections are free and fair.

I think the pressure is mounting because when the NDC perceive the EC of doing something wrong, they think it is done intentionally to the benefit of the NPP and the NPP also do not help matters when they keep defending the EC in most cases when they should allow the EC to do the defending and the explanations. The media should also know how to capture their banner headlines and the sort of things that they write in their papers. Especially, the papers with political affiliations keep peddling lies and write untrue stories about people, which I find very distasteful and I see them as the real doom day mongers. They do all these things behind the scenes and shamefully they come public and ask for peace.

During the IEA debate in Tamale, the candidates were made to unite for peace. Much as I think it was good idea, I think what took place there was just shows how hypocrite people are. If they really meant what they did, then I want the candidates to come out individually and pledge for free and fair elections and that they are ready to accept a free and fair election results and if for one reason or the other they are not happy with the process, they would head to the law courts and not distribute arms to their followers to cause mayhem. May we have free and fair elections and have peace and development after the election 2008.

Long live Ghana, long Live all Ghanaians after Election 2008.

Gordon Newlove Asamoah

Lecturer and Public Policy Analyst

KNUST School of Business