Feature Article of Thursday, 27 September 2012

Columnist: Gyan, Eric

Let Peace Prevail in Election 2012

By: Gyan Eric, TTS Ghana.

Of a truth, those who have vehemently vowed that at all cost their political party should win this year’s election if not, there will be war in Ghana do not know the essence of peace. In fact, nobody should dare dream, think or speak about war because war is not good. Those who have experienced, witnessed, studied or watched any episode on war will bear with me that war is one of the worse things that can ever happen to a nation.

Whenever there is war, there is widespread mobility of people. Women, children, the aged and the physically challenged are the worse victims. They ran the peril of their lives. They become exposed to lots of dangers – danger of bad weather; danger of wild animals and danger of the enemy. At times, some women are raped, young girls defiled and others are infected with HIV/AIDS by the very security agents who are deployed to protect them and ensure that peace prevails. The untold hardship of nursing mothers and their babies at this moment touches the cord of sympathy and stirs up compassion. Mothers moan and lament for their children as they see and hear them gnash their teeth, cry for help, wander, stumble and faint to death.

Beyond these appalling experiences lies the destruction of the economy. Pillars which hold the economy are destroyed. Factories, industries, companies, firms and all other avenues where the government gets most of its revenue are destroyed. Moreover, most of the working force on whose shoulders our economy rest is touched by the cold hands of war. The nation loses her gallant men and women in whom it had spent so much time and resources to train and educated. The educated are the backbone of any serious economy. Hospitals and schools are burnt down whilst agricultural products are destroyed, not to mention water bodies which get polluted.

Even those who survive after war become enervated and incapacitated to contribute their quota meaningfully towards the rebuilding of the nation. This is because most survivors of war sustain permanent and irreparable injuries to both their bodies and psyche. Many post war victims have the scars of war imprinted indelibly on their minds. They are usually stricken with fear, hopelessness and emotional agitations. Psychologically, these people became traumatized. They become averse to anything that brings memory of the war. Furthermore, those who flew to other nations may not be willing to return, thereby making the nation lose that important segment of human resource.

We must be alert! We must guard against anything that could take our happiness, peace, and joy away. We should also be mindful that wars can permanently lead to separation from relations and neighbours. We must protect the peace that God has given to us as a nation. It is a priceless virtue, a greatest asset and invaluable tool for national development. No wonder many nations, presidents and foreign companies see Ghana as a gateway to Africa. They invest and support Ghana in cash and in kind basically because of the peace we are known to possess as a nation. I dare intimate that investors to put their resources into Ghana because of other reasons apart from peace. Show me a “peaceless” nation and I will show you a hopeless economy. This is because no investor will be ready to invest in war-torn country. This is why we need to protect the peace we have as a nation.

We must not let ‘Kenya” or “Ivory Coast” or “Sierra Leone” happen in Ghana. The collateral damage will be inestimable. Ghana is a unique country. It is the black star of Africa and the hope of democracy, especially for many third world countries around the globe. It is therefore not surprising that all eyes are on us as a nation. We have attracted the attention of the international community and we cannot afford to disappoint them. We must be example for other nations to emulate.

We must vehemently oppose any form of inciting and intemperate utterances from politicians. We should not allow the few politicians to determine the fate of all of us. We must not resort to violence to register our grievances. It is always important to remember that whatever we do today will affect both the present generation and posterity. We should not be obsessed with either power or money; for this is what breeds the tendency to undermine the peace of the nation. For a truth, if one’s vision of participating in political contests is to better the lots of the good people of this nation then it will be more than absurd to learn that the one will want to reach this end by violent means.

It is good we keep on reminding ourselves that, we have only one nation and that there is no better place than home-Ghana. All of us have a duty to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers. We should all pledge ourselves to uphold and defend the peace of Ghana. Our aim should be that “at all cost, peace would prevail”. To this effect, we must pray for the peace of Ghana and be ambassadors of peace, especially those of us who are enlightened and can appreciate what it means for a nation to melt under the weight of civil conflict. We should preach peace in the cities and in the towns. We should preach peace in the small towns and in the villages. We should preach peace on radio and TV. We should preach peace in our churches and mosques. Our discourses during this time should nothing more than peace – yes, peace should be spoken about in our palaces and in our market places. In fact, the message of peace should cover our motherland just like how the dew covers the earth.

The government, the Electoral Commission, the security agencies, flag bearers, members of parliament, supporters, voters, non-voters, churches, religious group leaders and non-governmental originations all have a duty to play to make sure that peace at all cost prevail in this year’s election. Let’s remember, Ghana is our motherland, the land that our forefathers toiled for and it is our time not to destroy the gains they have been able to consolidate. If we cannot improve what was bequeathed to us, we have a responsibility to at least leave it the way we met it. Whether or not there will be peace depend on us - what we do and what we say before, during and after election 2012. gyaneric2005@yahoo.com