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Opinions of Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide Network

Lame duck Peace Council


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The National Peace Council’s (NPC’s) loud silence in the face of the most glaring threats to democracy and impunity yet is worrying.

Democracy has never been as threatened as it had in recent times yet the NPC has chosen to be silent on the threats. The Council has not been smart with its selectiveness about its treatment of peace-threatening challenges, many traceable to the handiwork of ruling party politicians and the government. It is a drawback which has exposed the NPC so badly that it has lost its relevance in contemporary Ghana.

Recently, an opposition politician – an MP – lambasted the Chairman of the Council, Rev Prof Emmanuel Asante, and the NPC so graphically that those who heard him – and they were many – were hard-pushed not to withdraw their deference for an organ set to ensure peace in the country.

The last time the NMC was heard expressing concern about matters threatening democracy was when the Chairman lamely pointed at what he saw as the entrenched positions of the main political parties on the matter of the voter register.

What he lacks as a Chairman of this otherwise important organ is the ability to call a spade a spade and not a pickaxe as he mostly does.

A Peace Council worth its salt has no business being diplomatic, especially when the matters at stake are about preventing the country from getting close to the precipice.

We neared the precipice in 2012 but for providence through one man, a negative footnote would have been inscribed in Ghana’s contemporary history.

It is surprising that nothing of significance has originated from the Council on the vexatious voter register, as though the membership finds nothing amiss in what has been observed as a flawed compilation unworthy of ensuring a credible voter register and a potential source of national peace.

This ‘see no evil and hear no evil’ attitude of the NPC is inappropriate and should not be allowed to remain a feature of the peace-making organ.

The widespread incidence of violence which rocked the recent National Democratic Congress (NDC) countrywide did not attract the attention of the Rip Van Winkle NPC. Scared of the fallouts from stepping on the toes of a government which can reshuffle its membership and deprive it of further freebies could be responsible for the non-performance of the Council and reducing it to a fat lame-duck.

If the peace-threatened NDC primaries did not merit their expressive intervention what about the high decibel NPP headquarters security breach which the Council appears to have found nothing unusual about? Amazing!

It is about a selective choice of subjects apprehensive of the choppy waters of local politics. Subjects which could set the Council on a collision course with the government are avoided shamelessly and cowardly.

The Council has not played any significant role in reducing tension in the country, contended only with issuing lame statements which avoid querying trouble sources when they belong as they have always been government.

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