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26.10.2004 Press Review

EDITORIAL - No Violence Here, Please

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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THERE IS one thing every Ghanaian should be proud of: we are slowly but surely showing the whole world that our democracy is growing and that the political maturity we have so far displayed gives room for hope of success.

In a sub-region seething with conflict and discontent, Ghanaians are demonstrating that they can resolve their differences peacefully and choose their leaders through the ballot box, not the barrel of a gun.

Should we successfully conduct this year's parliamentary and presidential elections, the skeptics who have assumed that the black man can never practice democracy would be put to shame. Once again, Ghana would have shown all and sundry that Africa can make it in spite of all the odds against her.

The peaceful, yet competitive postures the supporters of the NPP, NDC, PNC and their leaders demonstrated while they interacted during the filing of nomination papers at the head office and constituency offices of the Electoral Commission (EC) last week, was a beauty to behold. To any dispassionate observer, it said a lot about the maturity of the citizens of this country.

We shall surely have peaceful, free and fair elections. Of course, there would be hiccups and the odd exceptions to the rule here and there. All in all, however, we shall "jaw jaw, not war war!" As a people determined to succeed and prosper, we are right from the start saying that consensus, not confrontation should inform our politics This is why The Chronicle would like some of our countrymen to seriously ponder over their tendency to quickly resort to violence in resolving their political differences. We are not happy with what is going on, especially in parts of the Northern and the Volta regions.

Reports from the Ketu district of the Volta region are not pleasant and do not speak well of the indigenous people. There are stories of NDC and NPP supporters being "at each other's throat."

According to press reports, some over-zealous supporters of both parties are "engaged in the defacing of posters, hooting, road blocking, arson, intimidation and fighting." Things are being seen through cloudy, partisan eyes and the campaign for votes is deteriorating into a backward, primitive and unprogressive war.

In the Ketu district, the Director of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Ms. Modesta Annie Sapaty, has expressed her deep disappointment and dissatisfaction with these developments. The commission, to defuse the situation, has been holding forums on the topic: "Tolerance, the key to peaceful elections" at Dzodze and Denu.

The Chronicle commends the NCCE for its attempts to change the mindset of some of our compatriots who seem to think that politics is a life and death struggle in which one's political rivals should not be given any quarter and no prisoners taken. These misinformed few are sadly just mere pawns being used by some unscrupulous persons who will stop at nothing in their quest for power.

For these power-hungry political dinosaurs, they would rather Ghana burned and burst into flames of dissent so they could pursue their parochial interests.

To them, we are all nincompoops and only they and their slavish hangers-on must rule this country.

They and only they are good enough for Ghana, and without them, we shall never eat.

The truth is that Ghanaians have seen through them and have wised up to their machinations. This time around, their honey-coated, populist ranting will not sway us. Thanks to our growing freedoms of speech, association and the vibrant press, it is no longer "operation cold chop."

We call on all true patriots to put such people to shame, to tell them that through the power of our thumbs, we shall peacefully choose our leaders. No longer will we blindly follow "saviours and redeemers" or "revolutionaries" for that matter, who are really out to look for what they can get, who come in with nothing but go out with great wealth Their game is up, period!

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