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Opinions of Sunday, 26 December 2010

Columnist: Avornyo, Bright Selasie Yao

End the Ivorian crisis with new election

Ever since I heard that there was going to be an election in Ivory Coast, our
sister country in West Africa, I trembled with fear and panic, having known what
an election is capable of resulting into, mostly in some French colonized
countries. I am not a man of little faith like the disciples of Jesus Christ,
whose birthday (Christmas) is due us, but saw that the future was not as bright
as my name or white as snow. But, when I went to the mountains, I saw that there
was something to be done to curb the crisis in Ivory Coast. Yes, we cannot sit
down and allow this to prevail anymore. We must speak like a true African
fighting for survival, not for one person, but for all persons.

The solution to the problem is not to ask mischievously the President of the
Republic of Ghana to speak to the issue on air castigating against Laurent
Gbagbo to vacate his seat. President John Attah Mills of the Republic of Ghana
has no power to change anything in Ivory Coast. NPP must stop politicizing
everything in this country and to the extent of going to the international front
to oppose government. Oh NPP, you have been my favorite sometime ago, but this
time, I can see that you say nothing good but for your own parochial interest.
This is the time, if you really care for the lives of the people in Ivory Coast,
to go there as a political party in opposition, to remove Laurent Gbagbo out of
power. If Gbagbo said that President Mills supported his candidature, does this
mean Mills supports any wrong doing by the latter? Oh please NPP save yourself
the trouble! What I wished the NPP to do is to keep reminding government to
drastically reduce the high taxes imposed on the poor Ghanaians; explain to
government that the economy is not strong, so taxing the poor is like asking a
child of about two years to carry his father on the shoulder.

Now speaking to the main issue, it seems the more the attempt by the
international communities to get things done right in Ivory Coast, the more and
more Gbagbo’s heart hardened to hand over power. The economic sanctions have
been imposed on Ivory Coast, but incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo has refused
to hand over power ( he has gbagboed the elections just like Suarez preventing
our only goal from sending us to the semi final of the just ended World Cup in
South Africa), as a friend of mine will always put it. Asking Gbagbo not to be
the President of Ivory Coast does not solve the problem. Supporting the
opposition AlassaneOuattara worsens the problem hundred times; asking President
Attah Mills to unseat Gbagbo will never work. So the big question is what next,
what exactly should be done to save innocent blood from flowing, what should be
done to have a President for Ivory Coast once and for all?

Folks, permit Comrade Selasie to allude to the Bible a little bit. King Solomon
was crowned King of Wisdom that has ever lived on the land of Osogbolisa (God).
And today Ghanaians will say,AsanteheneOtumfuo Osei Tutu II,is the Solomon. When
God asked Solomon what he wanted him (God, the Almighty) to do for him
(Solomon), Solomon asked that God gave him wisdom to rule his people. God gave
him the wisdom Solomon requested for and added more (other things) to him. Had
it been you, what would you have asked for as a King? Would you have asked God
to give you power to alleviate Mugabe-Gbagbo-type on our land, or asked God to
give you all the money in the world or asked God to make year 2011 the most
prosperous year in your life, or asked God to give you that child that you have
been denied some years ago till date? Folks, this is the time to ask for the
Kingdom of God and all that there is to being will be added unto us.

During the era of King Solomon, there were two women who gave birth to babies.
The two women slept together, and one night, one woman sleepwalked pass on her
baby. The baby could not withstand the weight of the mother so it died painfully
and pathetically. As agile as a monkey, as smart as pussy cat, and as wise as
Kweku Ananse, the deceased mother woke up and exchanged the position of her dead
child with the living child of the other woman. The next morning, when the two
woke up, the other woman who knew how her baby is said, that the dead child was
not her child and the living child the wicked woman exchanged with her child is
absolutely hers. Friends, if you had been called to judge this treason murder
case, how would you have done it? Who will you blame and in whose favor will you
declare your judgment.

This is how King Solomon did it. When the matter was brought before Solomon, he
looked into the matter and looked into the matter and looked into the matter as
the two women acclaimed that the living child belong to both of them. They all
said what they could; they all had all the renowned lawyers like Attah Kyea (My
mentor) defending them. But with God given wisdom, Solomon said that the only
means to solve the situation was to kill the living baby so that the two women
would remain childless. This sounds wicked but, it was a trick to see the
intestine of an ant. How on earth can a loving mother look at her child to be
killed while the child is innocent of all crimes? It is absolutely impossible to
happen, except the mother is a witch and wants the child to be sacrificed for
evil powers. Lo and behold, the real mother of the child said that the child
should not be killed rather it should be allowed to live because when it grows,
she would ask him to do something for her. On the other hand, the sleepwalk
woman, who in actual fact, killed her child agreed that the child be killed.
This is because all she wants is to render the other woman childless. In indeed,
to whom honor is dew, let him be accorded, what ever belongs to Caesar remains
Caesar’s for ever and ever. From the assertions by the two women, King Solomon
judged that the child belonged to the other woman who asked for the child to
live. This is wisdom. It did not take Solomon days, weeks, months, years to
solve the situation. This is all about logic.

The crises in Ivory Coast today, is not beyond control, it can be solved without
loosing lives, just a day can be used to solve the situation once and for all.
Bullet exchanging can never solve the problem. Imposing international sanctions
on Ivory Coast can never solve the problem. Internationally supporting Alassane
Ouattara can never solve the problem. Removing Peace Keeping troops can never
solve the problem; Ivorians crossing borders to neighboring countries for
survival can never solve the problem. What can then solve the problem is to know
the cause of the problem and identify means of solving it and if one does fail,
another will surely click.

Let us come to think of the suggestion in with an agreement that, a new election
can out rightly end the Ivorians' situation once and for all. This is a country
that elections have been postponed several times because of some irregularities.
But one failure does not mean we should throw in the towel without any
perseverance. What brought about the problem in Ivory Coast today is some
irregularities that have characterized the November 28 Elections in Ivory Coast.
How I wished there was a clear winner during the first round of voting. Hmm, if
wishes were like horses…….. No Bright, all hopes are not loss, what I pray for
is that the international communities and all well meaning individuals heed to
my article to curb the issue in Ivory Coast before it degenerates into an
unsolved crisis.

Why should there be another election while there have been two elections
already, young chap? We must remember that enough meats in a soup do not render
the soup no-delicious; it instead adds more delicacy to it. Both Gbagbo and
Ouatarra have said the elections were not free and fair as it supposed to be.
Due to this, Gbagbo and his allied refused the Electoral Commission from
announcing the results because they knew they were losing in the result. Then
through the help of the international communities, the results were declared
given Ouatarra a lead over his opposition Gbagbo.

Prior to the elections, there was an agreement that, the Constitutional Council
shall be the final arbiter to declare the provisional results valid. Then by
“magic” the Constitutional Council overturned the results in favor of Gbagbo
(For which reasons known to them). I have anyway still do not understand why it
happened and on which ground did it happen. If I may ask, can the earth turn
into a world of rosary an overnight? The hard answer is no, except that this
earth is gone and the new Heaven and new Earth God promised his people takes

Consequently, Alassane and the international communities base on the declaration
by the Electoral Commission; Alassane Ouatarra is the President of Ivory Coast.
Meanwhile, Laurent Gbagbo who is alleged to have hijacked the elections based
his win on the declaration by the Constitutional Council. For Gbagbo, he claimed
that since the Constitutional Council remains the sovereign entity to proclaim
him a President that was all without considering the circumstances surrounding
his victory. Hey young Comrade Selasie, this is not time for blame game, let us
rather with no remorse find the finest solution to this common problem before us
once and for all.

But don’t you consider we are adding more cost or simply wasting money instead
of forcefully remove Laurent Gbagbo and his allied without spending a Pesewa or
CFA to conduct any other elections? No, that is not the answer. Never you forget
that Gbagbo has the masses who support him, never you forget that the military
or the security heavily support Gbagbo and should there be any attempt to
forcefully remove him, there is going to be war. Also never you forget that if
the international communities still insist that Ouatarra remains the
democratically elected government, Gbagbo would ever vacate the sit of
government for his rival Alassane Ouatarra to rule in order to better the
livelihood of the peace loving Ivorian. Again, should Ouatarra give up, his
supporters from the North would never agree. What will happen is simply the
usual civil war.

In addition to this, the UN troops deployed in Ivory Coast live at the expense
of UN; therefore if the money they use to cater for them is used to organize a
no-nonsense free and fair election, everyone will have peace. It is better we
call the kettle black than be painting it white. Let us act without pretending.
So how do you want the election to be conducted? Let the international
communities call both Gbagbo and Ouatarra together to understand that, the
results for the second round have been nullified, therefore, there is no winner
anymore, and so a new no-nonsense free and fair election will be held to put a
stop to everything. In the process, you give them an agreement form to sign that
none of them shall interfere in the elections and should any attempt, that
person will be declared a loser or will face a death warrant. The final result
will then be announced in public with television cameras on the Electoral
Commission and with the heaviest security ever. They should also ask both
Laurent Gbogbo and Alassane Ouatarra to call on their supporters to revote
freely and fairly without any indulging in ballot snatching or vote rigging.
More troops should be deployed in Ivory Coast so that the elections can be
conducted under free and fair regulations. For instance, polling stations,
especially areas where there is the possibility of rigging or confusion, about
twenty armed men can be tasked to guard to ensure the true outcome of the
elections. If this is done, I can bet on you that all these hullabaloos about
the so called crisis in Ivory Coast will continue no more. Trust me folks. Trust
me the World.
What the Nkrumaist boy from Ghana in the Volta Region where he is proud to hail
from is asking for is heed to his advice to save his continent, Africa, Ivory
Coast, the largest cocoa producing country.

Credit: Comrade Bright Selasie Yao Avornyo

The writer is a final year student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism in
Accra, Ghana, West Africa