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The monsters we created

BY: Enimil Ashon

In this 21st century, we still have people who do not appreciate that this land mass is now Ghana, not Akyem, Asante, Mfantse or Ga-Dangbe.

How else does one account for the mentality or state of mind of a group that will set ablaze a building merely because the capital of the newly created Savannah Region is not their tribe!

In what they see as holy rage, they fail to realise the contradiction in their own logic.

 They claim they are disappointed because they voted for the NPP in 2016, but they forget that the NPP candidate whom they voted for is the one in Parliament because he won “majority” votes.

How would they have felt if the other parties in the area had gone burning down houses to protest the majority decision?

Even among barbarians and savages; nay, even among ants, there are kings and queens whom the majority obey. Without this wisdom gifted to humankind by God, our lives would be (to quote Thomas Hobbes) “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

To live in a society of laws and consensus is based on the understanding that everybody may not agree on everything; once the majority decides, however, it is binding on all.

Should we not rather be commending the President for choosing Damongo (which did not vote NPP) and not Salaga, the only area in Gonjaland that has an NPP MP? This is the beauty of the spirit of give and take; lose some - win some.

My proposal: let us set up a Committee of Eminent Northerners, made up of role models in the three northern regions, namely Imams, pastors and youth, party and women’s representatives with a perpetual mandate to intervene in disputes the moment they rear their head.

 An eye for an eye only lets the world go blind.

Inappropriate

That is why the ‘Boot for Boot’ call by ex-President Mahama, which is fast gaining the status of a mantra in NDC, is unfortunate.

If you seek to know the implications of it for the future of this country’s peace, remember what was on the lips of the party’s youth as they set upon a security man around the Jubilee House on the day of their recent demonstration.

 They were chanting “War for War!”  

What! In Ghana? It’s unbelievable that for the sake of wanting to make history by becoming a second-time President, John Mahama should proclaim the NDC as a violent party!

It will take nothing from Mahama’s personality and appeal if he announces a withdrawal of those words and apologises to Ghanaians, to the hearing of the bloodthirsty in his party who have taken his words to mean a declaration of war.

Mahama is right when he tells the Diplomatic Corps that the Ayawaso Wuogon by-election violence was state-sponsored.

He was right in his analysis that it was the first of its kind in brutality.

 What Mahama forgot to add was that political thuggery was not born in 2017; that it has its roots in the “Matemeho” era in Ashanti and the PNDC’s early days when WDC/PDC dogs set upon students of the University of Ghana with machetes.

Mahama forgot that the worst nightmare of Professor Atta Mills, as President of Ghana, was the armies of foot soldiers who went on the rampage, throwing out DCEs, installing themselves as toilet attendants and taking over NHIS, Metro Mass Transit Ltd and NYEP offices

When, under the presidency of John Mahama, foot soldiers seized public toilets in Cape Coast, their defence was that they were subjected to the same situation when the NPP government took over the reins of government in 2000.

To stick to the position of Mahama is to declare that once out of government, “we prefer power in danger to opposition in tranquillity”.

But thuggery, greed and corruption are only three of the vices that are destroying the very fabric of this nation.

 The other one is partisan political self-interest in decision making. It is the latter that has fanned the flames of so-called vigilantism and hotheadedness.

 In this rule-by-political-self-interest, the guilty do not get punished if they are members of the ruling party; no matter how loud the government’s condemnations, the worst that happens to political criminals is the charade of getting them arrested.

 The press covers the arrest – and that is it.

 No one gets jailed or fined or even reprimanded.

If what happened in Kumasi in the case of NPP vigilante storming a court to free their members on trial is repeated in the Salaga case; if the seven youths arrested for their alleged involvement in that act of savagery are set free, it will sound the death knell of democracy.

 Chaos will reign in Ghana. Mark my words.

Even with all the goodwill by investors – to the point where we are touted to top West Africa with respect to FDI inflows - our economy is wobbling; how much more shall we be able to manage our economy if we allow the peace to be threatened by party thugs?

Ghana has only one credential left: “a peaceful country”. No one, or very few investors, will come set up here on our Pan-Africanist credentials.

 Everywhere I have travelled to, Ghana is mentioned next to the word, peace.