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Opinions of Sunday, 16 October 2016

Columnist: Asonaba Kwadwo Nomafo

The bad dream - Acts of electoral violence as we approach Elections 2016

Source: Asonaba Kwadwo Nomafo

I woke up early in the morning around 6:00 AM and tuned my radio to Agoo FM to listen to authoritative news before I prepare for work as I always do. But this time I had a strange, skeptical feeling about content of the news and was so eager to hear the headlines for the day. In fact it was so pathetic as news casters kept repeating headlines full of agony, emotionally torturing my peaceful mind.

In the news, it was presented that the office of the president had been locked up with over one thousand security intelligence on board whilst the electoral commissioner had fled the country to an unknown destination. The news was very heart broken and the country was in a total mess, voices across length and breadth of the country were all about crying and wailing, people were screaming at gun point, others were running away from machete wielding youth, whilst blood was flowing like a waterfall, the dream was indeed a terrible one.

As news anchors kept reporting, voice of an analyst appeared to give a report indicating that about three hundred children had been killed by unknown rebels, simply because of elections whilst 200 pregnant women had been slaughtered with their blood spilling uncontrollably, lives of innocent kids were being taken away…oh! …oh why God, Lord, is this YOUR country? The miserable tears, the distressing sorrow, the panting and groaning of the poor innocent people. The chaos and pandemonium was painful to the extent that I wept whilst listening to the news.

All was due to election and the country had become no man’s land and one time statesmen, politicians, technocrats-rulers had been given exit of “persona non gratas”. Now the United Nations in ill partner with the new sovereigns (thugs, self acclaimed militias and rebels) had taken over the country. The curfew announcement was six in the morning-six in the evening, both government officials and civilians were all affected, hunger had started whilst farm products had been taken over by rats and other animals, hmmm!…….The dream I had always prayed against. A news caster immediately shouted “ eeii Awurade ee”!! And the live broadcast went dead…oh! What had happened?

Oh where was the unity that binds us together?”

Where was the love that makes us one?

Where was existence of the friendship that makes Christians christen daughters Amina and Muslims in turn sons Godfred?… oohh! Ghana.

With the fear of wondering what was going on, my phone rang and I woke from bed…Oh thank you Lord the whole saga was only a dream but dried my bed for three days as it was drenched with sweat.

Ghanaians, lets stand up for our freedom, election is almost here and I pray that what I saw in the dream would never come to pass. It would be very difficult for the country to revamp, resuscitate and return to its former state if we fight before during and after elections.

Since the country was ushered into democratic dispensation, partisan politics and cessation of the infamous “culture of silence” in the year 1992, we have had series of elections with peace emerging as paramount.

Our elections seem to be about providing jobs for certain individuals by the ordinary Ghanaian electorate who become members of the legislature or executive but later renege on their perfumed and honey-like promises. The MP will tell you he or she does not construct roads whilst the president will say I have directed my ministers. So the question is: why must we seemingly bother ourselves to endow these individuals with jobs by voting for them during elections?

Acts recorded in this terrible dream happened in reality in parts of Africa: La Cote Devoir, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Mali where thousands of people were killed, properties worth billions got destroyed. In the Rwandan genocide we all remember what happened between the Hutus and Tutsi majority. The massacre and destruction of an African country.

As I pray for the dream not to happen, I will urge all the political parties and players to campaign peacefully and desist from attacking each other, use of abusive, vituperative, denigrating, venomous, degrading and divisive words. I Humbly appeal to all and sundry to discourage the cast of insinuations, unhealthy innuendoes capable of arousing anger among supporters from opposing sides of the political divide. I pray the ordinary Ghanaian to treat campaign messages of dishonest politicians as “Politricks”. We must all disown cunning shysters who indulge in acts of shenanigan and chicanery.

The electoral commission should also be transparent in election declaration for the outcome to be peaceful, whilst the religious bodies should focus on preaching peace messages to congregants as we live in a religious country. Security agencies including the Ghana police service should also be neutral and deal with anyone who flouts the law.

If we are able to uphold the law and maintain peace, then we will be motivated to say “God Bless Our Homeland Ghana and Make Our Nation Great and Strong”