“You cannot afford to shut down your plants and refuse to produce or engage in your normal business because of the pronouncement from the court”, the President of the association, Nana Owusu-Afari, said in an interview with the Graphic Business.
“Nothing will happen to our dear our dear country no matter who wins or loses because we have come a very long way and we should not anticipate anything that will derail the gains and the good name we have earned for ourselves as a peaceful country”.
On Thursday August 29, 2013, the country is expected to come to a standstill as the people await the ruling of the Supreme Court to determine the winner of the landmark case that has sent shivers down the spines of many because of anticipated clashes.
The United States of America (USA) has for instance, issued an alert to its citizens to be cautious in the wake of the ruling in the interest of their own safety.
The discussions on the airwaves by peace loving people have also heightened to ensure that the people, no matter their political affiliation, remained peaceful to avert any clashes that could undermine the peace of the country.
It has been the case in many countries where violence erupts from election disputes and industry suffer because there is no room to produce and machinery and equipment are destroyed, making owners incur heavy losses.
In spite of the experiences, Nana Owusu-Afari was optimistic that the efforts being made by the various security agencies and the National Peace Council, among other civil society groups, to ensure peace after the verdict would yield fruitful results.
“We already have a lot of challenges that we are confronted with and we should not compound them by refusing to produce.” adding that “ we need to go about our duties as usual because we do not think something will happen”, he noted.
He mentioned, for instance, what he described as the ‘excessive taxes’ on manufacturing companies in the country which he said were affecting their profit margins and making their products uncompetitive.
In the wake of the anxieties, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, has given firm assurances for the public not to entertain fears of violence in the wake of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the election petition challenging the outcome of the 2012 presidential elections.
He said while the police are very hopeful that events would pass without any serious challenges, he and his officers were very ready to discharge their duties professionally in maintaining law and order.
“We are very hopeful that events would pass without any serious challenges, but just in case we have to deal with any situation, I want to assure you that we are very much appraised and ready to discharge our duties professionally,” the IGP assured.
The Ghana Armed Forces says it is fully on the ground, ahead of the 2012 election petition verdict.
In a related development, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel M’Bawine Atintande, said contingency plans had been put in place to monitor events after the verdict.
Under the plan, a contingent has been formed to monitor events before and after the delivery of the verdict while at the same time, the military is working closely with the police and the other security services, to avert any catastrophe.
He said, “There are troops everywhere and all that is needed is to put the plan into gear.”
Col Atintande said before the general elections last year, the military deployed over 5,000 personnel who provided support to the police and the other security agencies adding “the joint operation is still in place and would continue, after the verdict.
By Charles Benoni Okine/Graphic Showbiz/Ghana