Accra, Oct. 30, GNA - Ghana goes to the polls on December 7, 2020, the atmosphere is beginning to be saturated with political activities and talks and the Peace Campaign has also begun in earnest.
It is not the first time Ghana is going to the polls, but every election is unique and comes along with its tension and the vibrancy to prove that either party A or B is the best and deserves our vote.
Peace campaigns are mounted because usually during this time, people say all kinds of things and do all sort of things to prove that perhaps their parties are the best and deserves to lead Ghana in the next four years ahead.
Partisan politics and elections are a beautiful way for everybody to be involved and be included, usually in a run-up to elections we hear everybody talking, people form associations and alliances to enable them increase their voices and get their needs captured in political party manifestos or agendas.
Unfortunately, in trying to catch the attention of the politicians or voicing out our needs, people step on other people’s toes which sometimes results in conflicts.
For example, in recent times there has been reported clashes between the supporters of two major political parties in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), where several people were injured, a sad situation which should not have occurred at all, if we really understand politics.
Politics is not bad and should not be dirty, politics is just a show of diverse ideas about how to get to a particular destination.
“I always use this illustration, that politics is like travelling from Dodowa, a suburb of Accra to Kwame Nkrumah Circle by two or more people, there are diverse routes to use to get to Kwame Nkrumah Circle, one might say that they will pass through Oyibi-Adenta-Madina-Legon-37-Kanda to Circle, while the other may decide to use Oyibi-Adenta by-pass –inside Legon to Dzowulu to Achimota to get to Nkrumah Circle.
The following or supporters get to choose, which route they think will be faster and serve their interest, this should in no way result in conflict or war
“I believe that Tolerance is a key factor missing in our politics today, I usually get overwhelmed by the level of insults that is traded on social media.
“I remember, I once posted a picture of our sitting President on my WhatsApp status, he was to address the Nation on Measures being taken on COVID-19 in Ghana, before I could blink, someone on my contact list sent a message “Sakawa” (Fraud) I did not know how to respond to this.
This person did not know my political leaning or anything, but worst of all this is an educated person who I thought should know better. In response to his comment, I posted the smile smiley and added aaaw, with the intention of leaving him in suspense.
Not agreeing to someone’s ideas or opinions should in no way attract insults, at best, we can learn to exchange ideas without necessarily insulting one another. We ought to learn to be civil.
Majority of us went up in arms when the young Senior High School student insulted the sitting president, I felt sad for this young man because he was just a victim.
He has learnt to insult possibly from his elders, unfortunately, social media and the political season made matters worse for him.
People can be mischievous especially in politics, people say and do anything to score political points and usually because of their own personal interest, but should we kill because we want to help humanity?
Again to me, politics should aim at helping humanity get better with our knowledge and skills and not the other way round.
If we all mean well for our country, Ghana, we will never wish that Ghana burns simply because we share different ideas from our political opponents.
I remember the Biblical story of the two women who fought over a child, King Solomon revealed their true feelings and relations to the child by suggesting to cut the baby into two with each woman to receive half. With that strategy King Solomon was able to discern who the mother was and who was not.
I find it hard to believe that the majority of us want a “better Ghana” or a developed Ghana, but our utterances about Ghana are always very bad, negative and ill, do we really want the best for this country?
Diversity is important to our existence as human beings, many of our Akan proverbs glorify diversity, for instance “Nsa tea nyinaa ny3 p3” (All fingers are not equal), “Ti Koro Nko Agyina” (One head does not hold council, Obi Akonnode3 ne odompo nsono (Someone’s delicacy is the intestines) “Dua koro gye Mmframa ebu” (if one tree takes all the wind it breaks).
This means that our traditions and culture even acknowledge diversity as an important aspect of human life, we cannot all be the same, we cannot all have the same opinions and ideas. What we can all do is to cultivate tolerance for diverse opinions and ideas.
We can all develop some empathy for people who are different from us and try to see from their point of view.
As we get closer to Election 2020, I hope we can all remind ourselves on a regular basis that our differences should not lead us to war, our differences should rather unite us to move forward.