Imposing An ‘Ungodly Peace’ On Ghanaians – By Amos Safo
In 2 Thessalonians 3:16 Paul writes, “Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” From what Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is saying, any peace that is not of God is either superficial or imposed ‘peace.’ Peace is not just the absence of war, but the prevalence of conditions that engender freedom of choice and freedom of expression. In other words, peace is breached when the individual or groups of people are prevented from fully participating in human activities; the most crucial being free and fair elections that will shape their future.
This is what Dr Afari Gyan and the ruling party by their unilateral declaration of the results are trying to deny Ghanaians. Dr Gyan by presiding over an electoral system that is skewed to keep a group of people (on grounds of ethnicity or political belief) out of power amounts to social or political exclusion. The European Foundation describes social exclusion as “the process through which individuals or groups are partially or wholly excluded from full participation in the society in which they live.”
Perhaps, one of the few calamity that has not befallen Ghana is a full scale civil or ethnic war. Otherwise, Ghana has tasted other calamities – a few earthquakes and tremors, a devastating drought in 1983, two bloody revolutions that killed ‘perceived enemies’ and wasted property worth billions of cedis; not talk of the numerous military coups. What we are currently praying against is a calamity on the scale of a civil or ethnic war. But if this can be averted it is incumbent on all Ghanaians to seek justice first, and not imposing peace under such open manipulations of elections to fit a certain agenda.
The National Peace Council
The National Peace Council (NPC) has received a lot of condemnation across the country for failing to call Afari Gyan to order and rather turned their attention on the opposition that was pleading with the untouchable Electoral Commissioner to hold on with the results until he had addressed their concerns of fraud and manipulation in favour of John Mahama. On the infamous day of declaration, the august members of the Peace Council looked on gleefully as Afari Gyan played the game by his rules. It all started with the creation of the 45 new constituencies against wise counsel; the NPC kept mum and only found their voices when the victims of Afari Gyan’s rules started crying foul.
I have very little to say about the Peace Council, except that they have made the strongest case why they are irrelevant in contemporary Ghana, by failing to tackle the root-cause of the breach of peace. Where were they when Nii Lantey Vanderpuije chased people with Akan names from Odododiodio Constituency? They only found their voice when the lone-voice, Kennedy Agyapong called for justice. In place of NPC, I suggest the formation of a ‘National Equality and Justice Council’ to ensure all Ghanaians; irrespective of political, ethnic or religious persuasion enjoy equality first before preaching peace. As the venerable reggae star, Peter Tosh said in his bestseller, “Everybody is crying for peace, but is none is crying for justice. Equal right and justice”, he yelled.
I understand the NPC was in the tick of affairs when the NPP leaders appealed to Afari Gyan to withhold the results until he had addressed their concerns, but typical of him, Afari snubbed them, as the NPC nodded the decision. Afari Gyan had ample time to do due diligence before misinforming Ghanaians , and keeping us on a political edge with possible constitutional ramifications. Frankly, given their role as wise counselors and impartial arbiters, the NPC should have prevailed on the ‘almighty Afari Gyan to hold on. But they easily caved in to Afari Gyan’s powers backed by the powers that be and not the constitution, since he had 72 hours after the second voting day to declare the final results.
The very NPC members who failed to act when it mattered sadly turned their arsenals on the victims –Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo and the NPP, ordering them to accept Afari Gyan’s ‘stolen verdict for the sake of peace. Oh! What peace? What the NPC did amounted to attempting to strangle someone to death while asking the person not to shout for help.
In announcing the skewed results, Afari Gyan in his usual boastful posture said he had the mandate to declare the results. What I am not sure of, is whether the constitution mandates him to declare disputed results. From his posture he had an unfinished agenda to complete, and hastily too. Let me remind Afari Gyan and his cronies that the Constitution that gives them the mandate to declare results, mandates them to be fair to all parties. The Constitution must take precedence of Afari Gyan’s self –acquired powers. Ex-president Kufuor hit the nail on the head when he reminded Afari Gyan that he was not above the Constitution. In deed as both Kufuor and Rawlings pointed out, evidence of rigging are so glaring that they cannot be swept under the carpet.
The onus is on the Supreme Court
If Afari Gyan boasts that he derived his powers from the Constitution (which he applied with impunity though), the Supreme Court has even greater powers to overturn his misguided verdict. It pains me that such a huge burden would have to be shifted to the Supreme Court because of the failings of the Electoral Commission. I trust that Her Lordship, Theodora Georgina Wood and her courageous Justices of the Supreme Court will rise to the task and save the last vestiges of our battered democracy ; of with evidence from the contenders. Let me urge all well-meaning Ghanaians to devote time to pray for the Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court. From now till the case is heard and concluded, they will be the target of the ‘evil forces on the prowl’, as the eminent Dr. Mensah Otabil aptly described them. Let children of God acknowledge the fact that we are not dealing with ordinary men and women; but we are dealing with spiritual wickedness in high places.
NPP leaders rejoicing at Nana’s fate
As for those leaders of the NPP dreaming to become presidents, and are rejoicing over Akufo-Addo’s fate, they should think twice. The same fate, or even worse will befall them should the NDC succeed in denying Nana the presidency. I don’t foresee any political party ever winning the presidency unless they ( all NPP leaders and well meaning parties) collectively fight for justice to be done in this elections. I can stick out my neck and say that if NDC spent more than $200 million to steal the verdict from Akufo-Addo in 2012, they will spend more than one billion dollars in 2016.
The fact is that by 2016 they would have engaged in more gargantuan judgment debt payment and corruption that they would do anything to stay in power to cover up. That explains why they empowered Afari-Gyan to systematically decimate the boundaries of our democracy. And that is why other political parties (except the PNC and the CPP) should bury their differences and join hands in the struggle to restore the integrity of our electoral system. Akufo-Addo was incisive with his comment that the 2012 election is no more about him becoming the president, but the struggle to salvage our democracy and freedom of expression from the NDC and Afari Gyan and his electoral officials; and perhaps, the National Peace Council. Only then will peace, the true peace that comes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ reign in Ghana. I stand for political diversity and a level playing field; for that I am on the side of justice first and not ‘imposed peace.’ May the God of Peace be with you all (Rom 15:33).
*Views opined here are not necessarily shared by WTA.