Feature Article of Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Columnist: Mubarik, Abu

Peace Comes With Justice-Mr. Politician

Of late, when you tune into any political radio discussions, you would hear members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communication team shouting on rooftops for a so called ‘peace and unity’ as if this country has never known peace.

The last time I checked, Ghana was not in flames when we were ushered into constitutionalism in 1992 or in 1996 when Rawlings was sworn in for his second term.

The Nation was not at war in 2000 when the NPP led by it flagbearer, John Kuffour, won the 2000 elections. Neither was the country in flames when the NDC led by the late professor Mills won the 2008 elections.
Indeed both presidents Rawlings and Kuffour handed over a peaceful and a successful country.
So after all, there was peace in the country, to borrow the words of professor Ama Busia.
However, there seem to be a certain sloganeering for ‘peace and unity’ by the NDC as if this country has just recovered from a tumultuous war.
The call for ‘peace and unity’ is a clarion call and a step in the right direction especially as we head for the polls in December. However, when the call turns into sloganeering then I have a problem with the call.
Government communicators have tried in all their might to credit the NDC for the peace the country has known since the fourth Republic.
We have heard them credit their leaders with all manner of appellations-“Asumdwehene,” “Josiah.”
The peace sloganeering is not only limited to the NDC communicators. Some high profile government officials are active participants.
It is amazing how the NDC wants to claim credit for the peace we have all contributed to in diverse ways yet runs away when well meaning Ghanaians call for an inquest into circumstances leading to the death of the late President Mills and the numerous judgments debts.
When the call for peace becomes politically tainted or politicized, it becomes a huge problem rallying the nation around the table of peace and unity.
However, peace is inter-twinned with Justice.
A famous reggae artist once said, “Everybody is crying for peace but no one is crying for justice.” This statement speaks to the fact that peace cannot be achieved without justice.
But in all the call for peace and unity, the call for justice is conspicuously missing. There must be a rallying cry for justice instead.
This again speaks volumes of the nature of our politicians- paradoxical nature. They call for peace, not justice.
The fight for justice results in automatic peace. You can’t force peace on people when they experience injustice all around them. You can’t force peace on people when the gap between the poor and the rich keeps widening day by day. Indeed peace cannot be force on people when government fails to meet their aspirations and needs.
Has not the Bible told us that he who seeks equity must come with clean hands?
How then the NDC does aims to achieve peace when justice is relegated to the background and peace politicized. Besides, it is not as if we are fighting one another.