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Is the nation on the cusp of violence? I hope not, but skirmishes between supporters of the two major parties frighten me


Is our country on the cusp of political violence which if not immediately and vigorously countered, will ultimately plunge it into a prolong period of uncertainty and sink whatever democratic bona-fides and reputation it has earned over the years?

For the love of country, you might be tempted to answer in the negative, but that is tantamount to taking the high road, avoiding the obvious and trying not to be pessimistic and gloomy.

But I urge you to take a look at what is unfolding around the country; it is a frightening scene; bands of supporters of the two major political parties are dueling it out and beating each other senseless, driven to this extreme by blind loyalty.

As we go into the waning days of the election season, it is becoming increasingly evident that the Ghanaian society is deeply divided. Political violence is on the ascendancy. And, we seem trapped in a vicious cycle of reprisals and hostility.

Those we expect to put a douse on the simmering tensions, the political elite, has been rendered impotent by its insatiable taste for power, and is thus sitting idly by as chaos and mayhem slowly but steadily engulf the nation.

There are moments however when sanity and reason find a place among the elite. It was therefore gratifying in the face of the rising violence to hear the president explicitly state that he will abide by the will Ghanaians on election day. This was Mr. John Mahama in Lawra over the weekend.

“As president and commander in chief, I will ensure that the right environment is maintained for peaceful elections to take place in Ghana. I will accept the will of the people in this election.”

Mr. Mahama could not have put it better. He was surely leading by example. There is a lot at stake here. How I wish other prominent political leaders vying for political office will take a page from the president’s book and say similar soothing things.

This is what Ghanaians want to hear; that their representatives are willing to accept the outcome of the pending elections, no matter which way the election results swing, without resorting to violence.

But let us be cognizant of this painful fact: there are some politicians who are stubbornly determined to see to it that the nation convulses in violence. It is their only way to electoral success and eventual political redemption.

Their wishes aside, if the country slips into political violence, it will be a tragedy of enormous proportions. I cannot begin to imagine the consequences, but here are a few for you to ponder; thousands of innocent lives will be lost, properties destroyed and our much hyped political stability in a region drenched in bloodshed and violence, will be torn to shreds and with it, our famed democratic reputation.

Our nation, it should be said, is shamefully and pitifully poor. Given our overall precarious financial status, violence will push us into economic ruin, unemployment will reach staggering heights  and recovery from this catastrophe, I assure you, will take generations.

Our already vulnerable situation will be made much worse as foreign direct investments dry up. And the international community will stay faraway from a conflict ravaged Ghana. It will only pay lip service to efforts to bring any conflict in Ghana to an end; witness how impotent the international community has been in the Syrian war and other conflicts around the world.

The United States and Britain, and by extension, the western world have issued warnings to those Ghanaians intent on causing trouble. These trouble makers will be sanctioned, their foreign bank accounts frozen, and worse, they will find no political sanctuary in European and American cities. And, the International Criminal Court will be watching them real carefully.

To those Ghanaian politicians and their enablers who wrongfully think Ghana is their private property, and wrongfully think they can hold Ghana and millions of her citizens to ransom with their myopic and narcissistic views, somebody out there is closely monitoring your activities.





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