The National Peace Council, according to a statement issued over the weekend, says it has followed with concern the current happenings in Parliament regarding the approval of the 2022 Budget policy of the government. The statement, which was signed by its Chairman, Rev Dr Adu Gyamfi, said the Council, taking cognizance of the potential impact of the happenings in Parliament on the peace and stability of the country, held separate meetings with both the Majority and Minority Leaders in Parliament on Thursday, December 2, 2021.
In both meetings, the statement continued, the Council expressed concern over the disturbing happenings in the Legislative House, and called for calm. The Council further urged the leaders to resort to dialogue and consensus building in resolving the impasse.
According to Rev Adu Gyamfi’s statement, both leaders of the Majority and Minority informed the Council that they had made concessions, and that a committee of 20 members, drawn from both sides, had been set up to dialogue towards finding a solution to the impasse as soon as practicable.
The statement then appealed to both sides of the House to continue on the path of dialogue in resolving the current impasse, and those that may occur in the future. “The Council further urges the media, and all those who make statements on the matter, to exercise maximum restraint in their pronouncements to protect the peace, stability, and the integrity of our beloved country,” the statement concluded.
Though the democratic path we are treading is the best way to go, what is happening in Parliament, regarding the 2022 Budget, which forced the National Peace Council to issue the statement, leaves much to be desired. After the Minority voting to reject the budget and the Majority also voting to overturn the earlier decision, there was a near exchange of physical blows when the two groups finally met in the Chamber.
Since Parliament is the pinnacle of our democracy, any bad thing that happens there can affect the international reputation of the country. The Chronicle is, therefore, happy that the National Peace Council has seen the need to intervene and ensure the peace and stability of the country. The members might have traded in insults without the exchange of blows, but if the ‘violence’ had descended to the grassroots level, it could have resulted in something else.
One of the main characteristic of democracy is to jaw-jaw and NOT war-war. The latter is the preserve of failed states, and since Ghana is practicing a blossoming democracy, war-war should never be part of our lexicon. It is our hope that the 20-member committee that has been put in place by both the Majority and Minority will, indeed, find a lasting solution to the problem in the best interests of Mother Ghana.
As at the time of composing this editorial, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, had even announced to Ghanaians that the Budget had been modified. The modification means most of the issues raised by the Minority had been addressed. We believe this is good news which must sit down well with the Minority group, and to also ginger them to approve by consensus the composite aspects of the Budget for the country to move on.
As the adage goes, when two elephants fight, it the grass that suffers. Should the current impasse drag on, it is the ordinary man in the streets who is going to suffer – because there will be no money to pay workers in January 2022. Since we do not want this to happen, we can only appeal to the conscience of the MPs to let sleeping dogs lie for the country to enjoy its stability.