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Opinions of Saturday, 28 November 2020

Columnist: Joe Kingsley Eyiah

Message of peace to our motherland Ghana as the nation goes to the polls amidst pandemic

I have been prompted by a new song put together by some of our local Ghanaian Canadian artistes for our upcoming election in Ghana to write this important message to our folks in Ghana, our dear motherland. The message in their song is very relevant to our time, especially when the year 2020 is not ‘business as usual’!

On December 7, 2020, Ghanaians go to the polls to elect a President and Members of Parliament. This is the seventh consecutive democratic process of choosing our President and Parliament under the Fourth Republic since 1992 and Ghanaians are very proud of this humble achievement that seems to be rare on the continent of Africa.

We are also grateful to God for His provision of peace and stability since the last days of military rule in Ghana in 1992.

This election follows immediately after the ‘controversial’ US Presidential Election just last month, which the incumbent President Donald Trump has refused to concede to the President-Elect Joe Biden and the much-needed change in politics to bring ‘America Back’ after a political situation of the deeply divided nation (USA) on party lines puts an onus task on Ghanaian voters to rise above ethnicity and party affiliations to select a President and a new Parliament that will serve the interest of Ghana as one nation with one people. This call is relevant! Success is the reward for relevance.

Irrelevance, on the other hand, is the “funeral dirge” of any organization or nation.

Political campaigns by parties contesting this year’s election, especially those of the ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress could be described as acrimonious and unhealthy with each party being at the other’s throat. Such vigorous attacks are not absent in any keenly contested political election anywhere in the world. However, PEACE eventually prevails wherever there is FREE and FAIR elections.

It is in this vein that I add my voice to all good-willing people and many artists calling for free, fair, and peaceful elections in Ghana this year.

I experienced the acronym and high political tension between the two main political parties (the National Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress) in Ghana when I visited the motherland in 2012 before the national elections that year. Then came the sudden demise of President Prof Attah Mills in July.

This event (his death and the subsequent national mourning) ushered some decorum into the political landscape of the country! Bitter enemies in the political arena joined hands to honour the deceased President who was dishonoured during his serving time. Pastors of the land rightly used his funeral to call politicians to order! Subsequently, sense ruled over greed and animosity. Were some party functionaries calling for sympathy votes because of this event? Wait!

Interestingly, the course quickly changed from discussing people and even sad national events to discussing issues! Issues that bother on national development like education, health, employment, agriculture, and housing among others.

Though it is unfortunate that so much time has been spent in Ghana’s political campaign discussing people, the time spent on discussing issues must take the better part of the Ghanaian populace and bring the electorate to the ballot box to vote for the party with realistic issues that would move our country forward for the benefit of all.

Politicians vying for high offices of the nation must be scrutinized carefully by the electorate to uncover those who use issues as mere promises and political gimmicks just to win votes from the electorate. Political parties which fail to demonstrate the urgency of prioritizing the NEEDS (and NOT WANTS) of the country for development must not be voted to power.

Even overwhelming events which have happened in the country this year such as the untimely death of the first President of our Fourth Republic (the longest-serving Head of State of Ghana) J.J Rawlings and the many unfortunate road accidents which have claimed the lives of political activists on sides of the political divide in the country including Members of Parliament, just some few months before the elections must not influence voters to vote otherwise. There should be no sympathy votes for either NDC or NPP because of the high profile deaths in their camps this year! Vote wisely, vote on issues which would bring development, and let peace prevail in Ghana.

Though some of us are away from our motherland and unfortunately have no opportunity to exercise our franchise in the December 7 elections, our hearts are all with Ghanaian voters who go to the polls on that day. We are praying for PEACE in this important event in Ghana during this COVID-19 pandemic. We have already suffered enough pain and hardships during this year.

Post-election ‘drama’ which is going on in the USA (the biggest democracy in the world) could be described as unfortunate and unacceptable. Ghanaians ought to live above such post-election drama and prove to the whole world that we are democratically matured as the “Political School Prefect” of Africa. Let there be free, fair, and peaceful elections in Ghana come December 7. May the best candidates win the Presidential and Parliamentary elections!

GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND GHANA.