The violence ridden limited registration exercise is finally over. It has led Ghanaians to wonder and speculate the proleptic future we are being ushered into by our politicians.
The limited registeration exercise did not precipitate the spree of violence the nation witnessed during the exercise. Long before the exercise begun, there were proliferating signs about the surge in political violence in the country.
However, it was still surprising and saddening to witness such spate of violence during a simple electoral exercise such as a limited voter registration.
It portends of what is likely to happen during the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections slated for November.
It is therefore incumbent on us, to proactively seek to understand the fundamental motivation behind the spike in pre-election violence, and to advice ourselves to pursue the right steps to stymie the trend before it engulfs us.
Read the concerns of the Chief of Defence Staff Air Vice Marshal Oje Sampson on the rising political temperature. Myjoyonline 13th May, 2016.
The Holy Bible says that "there are men who flames a torch to play amidst our thatch houses, and yet considers their action as a joke".Proverbs 26:18-19. Paraphrasing mine.
But when the one who plays with fire persists in his action, the community has two options. They either end his play by taking the torch from him and put out the flame, or, be ready to sleep under the elements for sometime, to rebuild the village.
As a nation we should choose to avoid the greater tragedy of loosing our sleep over the "jokers" attempt to play.
Politicians and Violence
The honest admission by Mr. Koku Anyidoho of the National Democratic Congress ( NDC) after the Telense by-election which averred that it was the Politicians who recruit the violent youth to forment trouble, cannot be counted a non sequitur. (myjoyonline, 8th July, 2015).
The use of violence in the past, to ruthlessly advance political course has glaringly been employed by members of all political parties in the country.
The veracity of the statement is obvious to all, as it's being attested to by the extensive coverage given by the media to the violence occurring across the country.
With these reports the nation is witnessing the blatant dishonesty and hypocritical behavior of some political actors, who, as ultimate beneficiaries of such violence, have gone to the market once again, on the occasion of the limited registration exercise, to publicly advocate and promote violence and in most cases walked off scot-free.
What was the motive behind those political activists who disrupted the registration exercise at Gyenyaase and destroyed a laptop belonging to the Electoral Commission (EC) in the process? (Citifmoline 30th April , 2016).
The Ghanaian Times of 10th, May 2016 and Staarfmonline of 30th April, 2016, reports that some equipment of the EC in the Savelugu-Naton Municipal office and Kunkua No.1 in the Yabaga- Kobori constituency of the Northern region such as scanners, registration forms and other vital items used for the limited voters registration exercise were stolen at night from the office of the EC.
Why would anybody engage in such activity? Why would political party observers wield weapons like cutlasses and guns at registration centres? What is becoming of our politics? Under what circumstances can "might" be right in a democratic political dispensation?
How far or to what extent can the philosophical thought, "the end justifies the means" be sustained in a democracy?
The travesty of such imminent threat to our national peace and security is pictured on the front page of the May 5th Edition of the Daily Graphic, of Bernard Antwi Boasiako, the Ashanti regional chairman of the NPP meshed in the adulation of his supporters after he was granted bail by a court, having allegedly assaulted the member of Parliament for Manhyia North and the Constituency Secretary.
The NPP's effort and the chairmans humility to reconcile with the MP he allegedly assaulted is commendable; however, such violent acts in the name of politics is heartrending example of the growing apathy and nonfeasance, on the part of our politicians, to the issue of political violence.
In some instances rather than stopping the fanning of a major conflict the cost of which the nation cannot bear, our political actors have chosen to court violence by hailing those whose beef it is to sacrifice life and limb just to obtain political power to control and distribute state resources.
What is instructive of the whole fracas between the regional Chairman, on one side and the MP for Manhyia North Hon. Collins Owusu and Felix Ibrahim, the constituency Secretary, on the other, and it's aftermath, is what Mr. Ibrahim said elsewhere, that “ anything could have happened to my mother, if I had refused to drop the case.”
It is not what Parliament’s Privileges Committee will do or will not do about a member getting assaulted. No! Though I wish Parliament will do more to protect our MPs. However, It is the veiled coercion that greets anyone attempting to stand up to intimidation and physical assault, that is very worrisome, indeed.
In recent time, the violence has turned on Members of Parliament with fatal consequences. Rather than just seek Police protection, honorable members must stand up against the violent agendas of their respective parties.
With their elite positions in their parties, honorable members will be effective advocates to champion the course to abandon the strategy of violence as a political tool.
If elections are designed not to end in conflicts, how can we explain such intolerance and violent acts of aggression, sadism, destruction of state properties and bloodshed that Politicians are ready to visit on other citizens for their own parochial interests?
What are the Politicians angry about? The road to the Flagstaff House should not be through violence.
Pre- election activities characterized by such wanton display of threats, intimidation, physical assault, vandalization and incendiary language are not simply signs which must be considered as foreshadowing an intense campaign towards the 6th Presidential and Parliamentary elections, since 1992.
It marks a firm push of the nation to the precipice of doom; a hurl into the abyss, and a shuffle through the entrance into a history of political conflagration, may be a type never experienced by this country.
Today, hired tugs, and agent provocateurs surreptitiously observe our election ready to unleash mayhem on us when asked to do so.
And because sometimes, violence appears to be the surface expression of more profound issues or grievances, we are compelled to ask; “What are our Politicians angry about?” They should be able to tells us why they are angry.
We must also be ready to deliberate on their “grievances” together with motives behind their “anger” just so, the vast majority of citizens who do not receive largesse from the Political Parties can also state our positions to them.
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