That Ghana is now the centre of attraction in Africa is not an understatement. Indeed, after the successful general elections in 1992 to usher in the Fourth Republican Constitution, and the subsequent change of governments on three different occasions, the international community considers Ghana one of the most peaceful countries in the troubled Continent of Africa.
Despite our multi-lingual, religious and cultural diversity, the country has not been blown apart as it is happening in some of the countries with similar backgrounds. It is, therefore, not surprising that since 1992, our development partners have never turned their backs on us, as a country, when it comes to the granting of loans to execute development projects. These development partners know that they would definitely recoup whatever investments they have made, because of our stable democracy.
As we put this editorial together, three major car manufacturing companies – Renault, VW and Nissan – have all indicated their intensions to set up assembly plants in Ghana to sell their products to the rest of Africa. These countries, we dare say, are not fools to make such huge investments, if they did not cherish the stable nature of our democracy. They all know that at the end of the day, they would recoup their investments, because they are operating in a safe environment.
But, whilst we are riding on the back of stable democracy to attract investors into the country, we all seem to have overlooked a monster that is gradually raising its ugly head and threatening the peace and stability of this country. We are referring the violent by-elections that have been organised by almost all the governments that have ruled this country since 1992. Among the places where these violent by-elections were conducted are: Wulensi, Talensi, Atiwa and now Ayawaso West Wuogon.
In all, during these by-elections, we allow the politicians to, as usual, take over the airwaves to level accusations and counter-accusations against each other. Civil society groups, including the media, look on unconcerned thinking that the issue has to do with politics, and that it should be left in the hands of the politicians, which shouldn’t be so.
What happened at Bawaleshie in the Ayawaso West Wuogon, arguably the most elitist constituency in the country, should serve as a enough warning to Ghanaians that we are all sitting on a time bomb, which can explode and plunge this cherished country of ours into chaos. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) winning the by-election is not going to make any difference in Parliament. As we indicated in this column on Wednesday, even if the national Democratic Congress (NDC) had also won the poll, it wouldn’t have made any impact in the permutation in Parliament, yet guns went blazing yesterday injuring seven people.
The panic situation triggered by this development alone is a dent on our democracy, which we have sacrificed to build over the years. Mark our words, both the NPP and NDC will, as usual, go on air this morning to make all sort of allegations against each other, without making any efforts to end this nonsense once and for all.
It is becoming increasingly clear that both our two major political parties – NPP and NDC – do not value the peace this country is enjoying. Those making inflammatory statements in the name of party politics have also not seen any war situation before. If they have, they would have measured the words they utter in public.
To end these violent by-elections in Ghana, The Chronicle is suggesting to the Peace Council and all the civil society organisations to come together to mount pressure for the prosecution of all those who would be found culpable for what happened yesterday, especially the issue of militant groups belonging to the political parties.
The violent Wulensi and Atiwa by-elections were organised under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) governments, but because those found culpable were not punished, it has, today, occurred under an NPP government as well. Certainly this is not the society we want to build, and that is why we are calling on the Peace Council to get down to work and protect the peace and the widely-acclaimed democratic credentials of the country.