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EDITORIAL: Ghana Bigger Than Our Egos

For some time now, especially this year, a trend has been developing that portends danger for the peace and stability of the country.

Friends, neighbours, communities and politicians who had co-existed peacefully in the past today find it difficult to tolerate the guts, faces and actions of those they disagree with.

Some people are prepared to return to the state of nature or use self-help to seek redress for their grievances at the least provocation.

Just about six months to the general election, there appears to be a rise in the proliferation of not only small arms but also sophisticated weapons that only the security agencies are mandated to possess.

graphic.com.gh can say with all certainty that the proliferation of small arms is responsible for much of the communal violence in our country.

Just within a week, some communities in northern Ghana have resorted to the use of brute force to settle scores, resulting in fatalities. As if that is not enough, two ethnic groups in the Mfantseman municipality have decided to adopt unorthodox means to resolve their differences, leading to the death of three persons.

What is worrying is that hitherto, peaceful communities have found solace in violence and conflict as a means of resolving their disagreements.

Now the time-tested values in dialogue and good neighbourliness have been abandoned for the doctrine of survival of the fittest, with its dangerous ramifications for the future of our country, which is touted as the beacon of hope for the rest of Africa.

It is unfortunate that some of our contemporaries have forgotten that the unity and stability of society has won us the accolade of the most stable democratic state in Africa.

Unfortunately, many a time our politicians and their supporters try to heighten tension by the use of intemperate language on radio and on political platforms.

It has been said that if Ghana succeeds in organising peaceful elections this year, the country will be on the path towards greater things in future.

graphic.com.gh is happy that many well-meaning personalities, including the Vice-President, Mr John Mahama, and the Omanhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Prof Oti-Boateng, are on record to have reminded us to be circumspect in the use of language, so that we do not offend the sensibilities of our neighbours.

At the celebration of the passage of the Presidential Transition Bill in Accra last Tuesday, Mr Mahama bemoaned the acrimony and vitriolic attacks that had engulfed our body politic and urged Ghanaians to open a new chapter of civility in political discussion.

He said the current situation where politicians engaged in open hostility against one another, to the extent that those with extreme views attacked moderates from the same political party, would tarnish Ghana’s enviable democratic credentials.

Daasebre Oti-Boateng, on his return from war-ravaged Afghanistan as part of a delegation of UN Commissioners, admonished Ghanaians at the recent celebration of the Akwasidae Festival of the chiefs and people of New Juaben in Koforidua last Sunday to protect the peace and stability of the country and vow never to tolerate actions that would derail the peaceful ambiance in the country.

He urged Ghanaians to take a cue from the Rwandan situation where a radio broadcast led to mayhem and stop the inflammatory speeches, broadcast or statements that had the tendency of creating chaos and mayhem.

It is instructive that Daasebre Oti-Boateng urged all Ghanaians to join him to preach the gospel of peace, especially in this period of elections when sometimes the tendency to win overrides the need to maintain the peace of the country.

Graphic agrees with these leaders of our land, but since action speaks louder than words, we urge all Ghanaians to make a covenant with the state to preserve its sovereignty as one people with a common destiny.

We need not remind anybody that the resort to violence and conflict during Election 2012 will reduce our beautiful country to a failed state where the people cannot earn a living, as they will be forced to be refugees in other countries struggling to rebuild from the ashes of war.

At a forum in Accra recently, a group of children from the South Ghana Conference of the SDA Church also made an appeal to adults of the country that if the leaders would not add to our heritage, they should not destroy what was left for us by our founding fathers.

This is a profound statement that our leaders and everybody should endeavour to uphold.