Another election season is staring us in the face and many people are wondering what the outcome of this year’s elections will be, considering the back and forth and legal brouhaha that characterized the last elections in 2012.
I am very confident that Ghana will once again pull through this tough test and our democracy will continue to thrive over and over again, come December 7th and beyond. Indeed, our founding fathers built a legacy of political tolerance and patience which will forever be the hallmark of our political success. It can be recalled that the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) founded by J.B. Danquah and the big six in1947 asked for self-governance “in the shortest possible time” from colonial rule until the arrival of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who was a bit radical and advocated for “self-governance now.” This is to drive home the fact that Ghanaians naturally are patient and peace loving people who are tolerant and believe that the best interest of the country is second to none. We have seen successive elections since 1992 and the peaceful transfer of power between different political parties without bloodshed.
Who would have thought that Jerry John Rawlings would relinquish power to J. A. Kufuor after the 2000 elections? He did that for the love of Ghana. The late professor Mills, who had been hand-picked to be the successor of Rawlings, gracefully conceded and accepted the verdict in good faith and asked for nothing but “asumdwe” (peace). Our level of tolerance makes us who we are as a nation and nobody can take that away from us. Time and time again, we have continued to set the bar so high to challenge ourselves and we always emerge as one unified strong nation with a common destiny. We may belong to different political parties or believe in different a political ideology, which is okay. That is what democracy and nation building is all about. The bottom line is the prosperity, well-being and security of all citizens.
The future safety and security of Ghana squarely rest on the shoulders of our current political players, particularly the incumbent candidate, President John Dramani Mahama and opposition leader Nana Addo Danquah Akuffu Addo. Their egocentric conduct and rhetoric during the electioneering campaigns will determine the political temperature of the land before and after the elections. They owe the country a great duty and responsibility to do everything in their capacity to prevent it from engulfing in flames. They must desist from bigotry and inciting unnecessary violence when the scales fail to tilt their way. Ghanaians cannot afford to jeopardize the freedom we are enjoying nor endanger the property we have toiled to acquire and become refugees in neighboring countries due to the selfish interest of an individual. It will be ludacris and suicidal to also blame their failure on voter fraud which is inevitable in every election on this planet including the United States of America. Advanced countries have learned to accept election results as free and fair if voter fraud is found to be minimal. This is the only country we can call home and none other. Let’s not get so obsessed with our political leaders for they are mere mortals like us who badly need our votes to live up to their dreams. We must stand up against them if they try to divide or sow the seed of rancor between us. They should make a strong case with convincing policies to substantiate why we the people must hire them into office.
As citizens, it is imperative that we carefully assess the promises these candidates will make and see if they are realistic, measurable and achievable and exercise our civic responsibility by voting and voting wisely regardless of party affiliations.
Atlanta Georgia, USA.
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