Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong
Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong

Winner takes all politics brews violence — Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong

Electoral violence being witnessed in the country could be attributed to too much power vested in the presidency, a former General Secretary of the Christian Council, Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, has observed.


He said the winner-takes-all syndrome facilitated by the constitution, gives the President the sole power to appoint ministers of state, heads of state enterprises and other critical agencies, such as security agencies and the Electoral Commission, making the stakes high during elections.

He added that politics had also become a business venture in recent times in which people sell their homes, take loans from the banks and invest them in election campaigns; hence, the resolve to win at all cost to recoup the investments made.

"We are drifting from patriotism, and love for the nation to politics as investment and business. If it is patriotism and I don't get it, it is painful, but I can go back to sleep. If you make politics a business where people have invested so much, and they don't win, it becomes difficult to accept."

"That's why we go into the vigilante; they want to arm innocent young people and they don't care. Anybody that comes across their path they want to clear because of the business and investment issues. They can't stand to see their business go to waste. That is one of the major challenges we face," he said.

Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong, a Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, stated this in an interview with the Daily Graphic as part of a campaign for zero tolerance for electoral violence, saying no blood should be shed in this year’s election.

He noted that though there had been a constitutional review during the tenure of the late President Professor John Evans Atta-Mills, his successor failed to implement it, leading to the persistence of the structural political problems.


Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong, who is also a lecturer in African Christianity at the Department of Religious Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, stated that as the electioneering heated up, there was a need for all stakeholders, especially religious and traditional leaders to come on board to drum home the need to ensure that the country did not record any violence before, during and after this year’s Presidential and Parliamentary polls.

“As the electioneering gathers momentum, politicians will be visiting your churches, mosques and palaces and there is a need for our pastors, Imams and chiefs to impress upon them to campaign based on issues and what they can do for the nation devoid of insults and hate speech,” he said.

“The same way our political leaders visit our churches, mosques and palaces to seek our blessing and prayers, when they come we must let them also commit to zero tolerance of electoral death. And we will still say that our soil must not drink the blood of innocent people. And this is a vow that we must take. The horror of electoral violence must end,” Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong added.

He noted that Ghana had come far with its multi-party democracy and all stakeholders, especially political leaders, their supporters and the entire citizenry must guard against electoral violence that tended to mar the beauty of the country’s democracy, which had been hailed as a shining example in the sub-region.

He, therefore, bemoaned the incident that happened at Techiman, the capital of the Bono East Region, where some people lost their lives during the 2020 general election, saying everything must be done to prevent such an unfortunate incident in this year’s general election.

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