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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Columnist: Badu, K.

The lunatic fringe of political parties must be thwarted

Preserving the national ambiance: The lunatic fringe of political parties must be thwarted

I feel duty bound as a bona fide Ghanaian to excoriate vigorously the prankishness and street pugilism preponderating the voters’ registration exercise. To state the obvious, Ghana does not belong to one particular group or tribe, Ghana belongs to all Ghanaians. Indubitably, we need individuals to keep our nation in order, since all of us cannot govern, we are prepared to elect or appoint officials to manage the affairs of the nation. Needless to say, we have been attesting to so much duplicities and frequent abuse of power, many of us have ceased believing the people we have appointed to steer us to “the promise land”. Let us remind our leaders’ that “leadership is not primordially about power and possession, it is a relationship”.

Regrettably, the same people we have elected to manage the affairs of the nation are treating the rest of us as lumpenproletariats. It has been alleged that some power intoxicated men and women are engaging some senseless urchins who have chosen to exercise their bodies instead of their brains to terrorise the rest of us. As President Obama expostulates, we do not necessarily need so-called strong men to build the nation, but we rather need strong institutions. To state categorically, there is no justification for any individual or individuals to sponsor the so-called ‘macho men’ to engage in terrorism. The actors must remember that “what goes around comes around”. In other words, “escalation of political violence emanates because repression by a state has conflicting effects, that is, while the threat of violence by the state has a deterrent effect (which may decrease the probability of violence), the state’s decision to employ such techniques may in fact reduce the state’s legitimacy and in so doing ignite a volatile situation where a grievance based insurgency becomes mobilized toward violence.”

Candidly, the sponsorship of ‘macho men’ to unleash terror on innocent Ghanaians, whose crime is exercising their democratic rights to register for the forthcoming elections, leaves me with puzzled countenance. What is happening in Ghana today is a lucid indication of lack of empathy amongst Ghanaians. Empathy activates altruism, and it consequently fosters social interactions amongst individuals, needless to say, the vast majority of Ghanaians lack empathy. We should not lose sight of the fact that Ghana is the only country we have; thus, we should not and cannot allow a few bigots to ruin the country for the rest of us. Sadly, the elites who are supposed to know better are the same people who are enticing the rabble rousers to create confusion in the country. What is going on in Ghana today is the case of politicians scrambling for power regardless.

Our politicians should accept the fact that nation building is a synergistic process, encompassing all citizens. Of course, all Ghanaians cannot support one particular party; needless to say, party affiliation does not and must not render some bona fide Ghanaians as second class citizens. Why should a section of the population be treated less favourable because they do not support the party in power? It is beyond puzzlement that such ultra vires should exist in a civilized society. As a matter of fact, we cannot move the nation forward if we persistently follow narrow party lines instead of working in valence.

In conclusion, we have enjoyed fantastic ambiance as a nation, and we should not allow the lunatic fringe of political parties to ruin such atmosphere. Of course, we need strong and healthy men and women to help build the nation, but we do not need stooges to build their bodies just to terrorise innocent citizens. It is my fervent hope that the so-called “macho men” exercise their brains as well, and apply their gumption and cease performing their masters’ gratuitous instructions. God bless Mother Ghana!

K. Badu, UK.

policymakers in democracies who wish to avoid a greater probability of violence need to be conscious of the fact that specific forms of violence should be matched with appropriate policies that include consistent measures to quell violence as well as compromising and accommodating attributes that address the root of the problem.