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Opinions of Friday, 1 July 2016

Columnist: Agbai, Stephen

Election 2016: Brighten the corner where you are

What are you doing now, during and after the 2016 General Elections? Are you sitting aloof or getting involved? Are you joining the winning team or the losing team? Or better yet, are you sitting on the fence? Are you one of those who are expecting peace but feel it is other persons’ responsibility? Are you one of those who feel that only the political leadership and security forces can maintain law and order? Are you doing something little in your corner or better still joining others in a group to preach and act peace? Or you want to be named as one of those who sat down and watched erring compatriots drag this beautiful nation of ours into perpetual oblivion? Will you join those who call for violence or those who preach peace?

I know what to do and actually started doing them. I have tried comparing the reward of peace and the cost of war and decided to place the former over and above the latter. I have decided to get directly involved by preaching and acting peace. I have decided not to sit on the fence and leave the fate of Ghana in others’ hands.

I have decided to do the following, and I hope you’ll see them viable and worthy of emulation. That is if you are not already doing so and even more.

1. I have decided to do advocacy. I have decided to preach peace through any mass medium available to me so long as it is within my budgetary means. I have decided to write this to awaken the patriotism in me and others. Through this write up, you will at least know that you have a role to play in keeping Ghana peaceful like all others living in Ghana.

2. I have decided to use my time on radio judiciously and prudently. As I have always done, I will do my best to keep my discourse on radio seasoned and decorous. I intend to express my thought and belief in the most responsible and savory manner in order not to cause public ire against me, my co-panelists and others. I will do this by discussing issues dispassionately and sincerely.

3. I intend to be a vessel for only good messages and news. I will not engage in the sharing, publishing and amplifying any incendiary remark by any politician or their assigns and followers. I intend to, most importantly, not be cited as a source of any irrelevant and negative post on all social media platforms. This is my way of rendering needless the intentions of the Police to block access to social media on Election Day.

4. I also intend to join as many peace preaching organisations and associations to preach peace in homes, churches, schools, mosques, etc. I believe that many of those who engage in acts of violence do not do so deliberately and consciously but mostly due to inadequate knowledge about the ramifications of their actions. Therefore, by embarking on public education, many of those who may be used by politicians to cause havoc will be adequately equipped to turn them down no matter the incentives.

5. I intend to uphold the truth at all times regardless of the cost. I intend to condemn those who deserve condemnation and praise those who deserve to be lauded. I will do this without putting on coloured lenses. I will do this without being prompted or reminded. I will also eschew hypocrisy and double standards in all my private and public dealings.

6. Furthermore, I intend to reject any overtures that will seek my complicity in any lawless and socially proscribed acts. I will not pander to politicians and their agents. I will be bold and shrewd in saying no to any bad plot they hatch against their opponents and this nation.

7. Last but not least, I intend to expose anybody whom I will find working to undermine the electoral process. While I will not directly or indirectly interfere with the process of election on the voting day, I will not turn a blind sense to any behaviour that will compromise the credibility of the elections. I will therefore report to the appropriate authorities acts that infringe the law.

I believe that the foregoing and many more, if adopted and conscientiously done by all citizens including those that hold party membership, will end well with mother Ghana.

Brighten the corner where you are, for the little we all do in our small corners will aggregate into a peaceful November/December 2016 General Elections.

I end with this timeless quote from Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

By: Stephen AGBAI