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Opinions of Thursday, 27 June 2013

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Violence Makes No Sense For A Nation With Aspirations

By Kofi Thompson

Looking at photographs of scenes of the results of lawlessness at Ashiaman in the pages of this morning's newspapers (25/6/2013), one wonders what those law-abiding citizens living there, whose lives were turned upside down by the unfortunate events, felt, during the few hours when law and order broke down completely, in parts of Ashiaman.

Whatever the reason for the violence by a section of Ashiaman's residents, the destruction they caused, can never be justified under any circumstances - and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

Violence and chaos serve no purpose and only sets nations back.

Recovering from the destruction wrought by violence and chaos brought about by political and ethnic tensions, for example, takes years - as we have seen in places like Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast.

That is why it is so important that Ghanaian politicians eschew the kind of needless brinkmanship, which could tip our country over the precipice - and destroy the gains Ghana has made after decades of sacrifice on the part of ordinary people: who have borne the brunt of the painful reforms that have made sustained economic growth possible today.

Now, more than ever, Ghanaians need to come together, to ensure that ours remains a peaceful and tolerant society.

Ghana needs mature and responsible politicians, who understand the overriding importance, of maintaining a peaceful atmosphere in the country - to ensure that confidence in Ghana amongst investors is not shaken and lost.

Jobs come with investment - and no investment can take place in a nation racked by chaos and violence.

Let the unfortunate events in Ashiaman yesterday, serve as a lesson to all Ghanaians - of where our nation could end up: if we allow power- hungry and power-drunk politicians to continue getting away with not delivering the democracy dividend (of nationwide development beneficial to all) to ordinary people; but rather expend their energies and resources dividing Ghanaian society, to either win power or continue remaining in power.

Above all, let the terrible events in Ashiaman yesterday, serve as a wake up call to our political class.

They must cooperate across party lines more frequently, and work hard to develop the whole country. Violence simply does not make sense for a nation with aspirations.

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com.