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Opinions of Friday, 22 August 2014

Columnist: Asare, Noah

Ghana Politics And Violence

Democracy; the mother of partizan politics has been portrayed to be the idea or culture that will replace military dictatorship, juntas and all forms oppressive governance(which are naturally associated with violence and turmoils). Frankly the introduction of democracy was most welcome and appealing to any reasonable Ghanaian including those who even benefitted from military dictatorship. Accepted because it was bringing to the table a well polished idea of a peaceful governance system owned by the people, put in place by them, to the benefit of them and most importantly to be changed or retained by them periodically.

Quite alarmingly, closely associated with this beautiful 'democracy' is partizan politics. Because I am deeply passionate about politics, I will biasedly hardly find a place in my mouth to say partisan politics is an unfortunate thing. But yet I can't overlook the damage it has caused to the very fibre of our societies and communities. Although most of the damage is due to ignorance, I can't just leave out politicking as one of the causes of the violence, resentment and chaos we see among us today.

Frankly speaking most of the violence we see in politics are avoidable. The antidote being the kind of leadership we have. Violent, vindictive and greedy leaders breed violence while calm, peaceful and magnanimous ones fan tranquillity. When leaders religiously discourage violence he keeps his followers from indulging in such acts. It scares every good and loyal supporter to do what his leader will condemn and rebuke. So in as much as I will not write off ignorance as a contributing factor to political violence I won't leave out the urging and instigation of bad leaders as one of the root causes.

The foot soldiers who beat up people, vandalise properties and disturb the peace of our communities are ignorant in the first place, but most importantly have been instigated and pushed by some elements in power to do what they do for the parochial interest of those pushing them.

Some of the violence can be associated with an anger in the masses but this normally develops into mass demonstrations and subsequent violence like we saw in the Arab spring. Political crimes and violence perpetuated in small groups and individually are mostly influenced by bad leaders. And even in the case of mass demonstrations, when they lack backing they hardly get successful.

In essence politics is good when run with the right leaders. Political power turns deadly when it is controlled by a bad leader. Violence is not a bi-product of politics but that of lack of education and good leadership.

God bless our homeland Ghana, God bless Banda.

Noah Asare Milan - Italy.