Lecturer and legal practitioner Godwin Adawine is asking President-elect John Mahama to prioritize the unification of Ghanaian society, beginning with changes to the political culture.
He said that the outcome of the recent 2012 elections indicates a divided society and imposes a serious obligation on the winner to instigate the march towards unity.
Commenting on the outcome, Mr. Adawine said it is critical for the next government to formulate and implement policies that society as a whole can benefit from. “That is what I think the society is yearning for,” he said, adding that, “those in power and those who will be operating various aspects of the state machinery must take this into account.”
He was speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Tuesday.
He insisted that in pursuing policies that will unite the people, the Mahama-led government must “look at areas of concern to Ghanaians.”
The lecturer explained that during the campaigns, the many political parties learned about many different concerns from many segments of the electorate. He charged Mahama to draft his policies based on all this information and to bring informed leaders of other political persuasions into the dialogue rather than focusing solely on facts gathered by the NDC.
He stressed the importance of truly engaging with these other political philosophies, explaining that, “if you want to pursue policies to unite us by simply co-opting frontline political leaders into your government, that will amount to mere tokenism”.
He explained that since individuals “relate to one another on the basis of certain objective factors”, civil society groups and sober-minded individuals must take the lead in highlighting critical issues that are of concern to ordinary Ghanaians.
“For when those issues are addressed, I am sure it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for any group of politicians to manipulate the minds of individuals to undertake actions that will destroy and undermine the integrity of society.”
An all-inclusive government
Mr. Adawine intimated that while it is understandable to staff certain institutions with party loyalists because of the overly political nature of such outfits, it is also possible to adopt policies that ensure that competent, experienced individuals with the capacity to deliver results occupy the purely technical positions.
“And if you have eyes on these factors you become blind to party colours, you become blind to ethnic background and you become blind to religious [background]. There are two things that unite us…our humanity and common citizenship and it is important that all of us, the media, party leaders – those in government and those outside of government – must understand that these two critical points must inform whatever things that we do or we do not do. Anything short of that will amount to the foundation for the destruction of the society.”
He concluded that, “society has come very far and we must not forget that Ghana as an entity is still very young…and therefore we need to work very hard and then have our eyes on those factors that we need to take into account in our behavior so as to consolidate the integrity of the society and move on.”