Feature Article of Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Columnist: Frimpong, Desmond

“All Die Be Die” is a call to defend Ghana’s democratic gains

There is a deliberate attempt by the ruling party, the NDC to disingenuously twist the “All die be die” mantra by the NPP flag-bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo. There is a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate the Ghanaian populace that the NPP has plans to plunge the country into chaos should the party lose the December 7 polls.
Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP have explained, with supporting evidence, that “all-die-be-die” is not a rallying cry for violence, but rather a self-defensive one to protect our democracy and to resist oppressor’s rule, as expressed in both the national anthem and the constitution. “All die be die” is for self-defense, considering historical antecedence of violent acts perpetrated against NPP supporters.
The issue at stake is the very soul of Ghana. It is about the type of country we would like to bequeath future Ghanaians. It is about our very liberty, without which death would be preferred (see Patrick Henry: March 23, 1775).

Look behind the slogans – “All die be die”, and “Red Alert” - and we'll find that at the heart of the matter is the struggle between proponents of democracy, and dark and sinister forces who would want to hijack that burgeoning democracy and redesign it to suit their selfish interests.

The struggle is not new. It's as old as Ghana itself. Neither is it peculiar to our country, as confirmed by recent events in Sudan (referendum on statehood after a long war of secession), and ongoing events in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc. These countries were considered stable, peaceful. But what is peace? Was it a just peace? Were these countries truly stable? No, they were not. They were really police states, simmering underneath.
Every now and then democracy as defined by the ruling class would be forced down the throats of the citizenry and the results show-cased to the rest of the world. It was not unusual for these despots to receive 99% of the votes of the very people now demonstrating with their lives for the immediate departure of their “beloved” rulers. Over thirty, and forty two years, Egyptians and Libyans respectively, lived under the yoke of these rulers, ostensibly free, happy and prosperous.

Fear of social unrest and possible war should not stop us from pointing out that Ghana, if the NDC is allowed to have its way, could be headed in that direction. Fear would only help in postponing the inevitable, what we all would like to avoid - the images which the cameras of CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, are transmitting onto our TV screens, from Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria and Syria.

In our humble opinion, the main reason why Ghana has not gone down the path of Sudan, Ivory Coast, and so on, is because at the very beginning of our nationhood, a group of brave men advocated for and even died for what Abraham Lincoln brilliantly described as "government of the people, by the people, and for the people".

The struggle for this type of governance continues, led by our party, the NPP. That is why Nana Akufo-Addo, our presidential candidate had this to say: “For us in the NPP, democratic governance and the peaceful transfer of power, after elections, are not negotiable. We urge all political parties and Ghanaians committed to promoting peace and deepening our democracy to work with us in securing these ends. Ghanaian democrats, no matter their party affiliation, should stand shoulder to shoulder to defend and promote the aims of our democratic Republic; that also includes standing up against the bully at the polling stations.”
Desmond Frimpong
Oslo, Norway