Come August 29, 2013, the Highest Court of the land, the Supreme Court will give a ruling on the landmark election petition initiated by three key members of the opposition New Patriotic Party to challenge the legitimacy of the National Democratic Congress’ John Dramani Mahama’s Presidency.
Well-meaning people, groups and organizations have and continue to call on Ghanaians especially, leaders and supporters of the two political parties in court to accept the verdict to be delivered by the Justices of the country’s superior court on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in other to spare the country the specter of violence that have characterized election disputes in other African nations.
On the need for all parties to hoist high the flag of peace after the verdict, The Al-Hajj would want to humbly, but in the strongest voice disagree with the former Boss of the Volta River Authority, Dr. Charles Yves Wereko Brobbey on the score that leaders of the two parties in court are preaching peace but at the same time arming themselves ahead of the Supreme Court ruling.
We say so because, so far, there has not been any shred of evidence or empirical prove to confirm Wereko Brobbey’s claims, nonetheless; we would like to remind leaders of the two contending parties, particularly President Mahama of the NDC, and Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP that, the International Criminal Court has an eye on their actions and, or inaction in this whole election conundrum and therefore, any attempt to willfully or otherwise, provoke supporters to violence will land them in The Hague.
The Stone Age days where political leaders desperately want to entrench or foist themselves on their people, have no space in modern day democratic governance, and as such, no matter the outcome of the case, it is incumbent on the leaders to accepted it as the true reflection of the will of the people.
Fortunately for us all, with the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Bernard Monnah CI 74 case, the vanquished stand a chance to apply for a review.
With Ghana’s enviable record of good governance, peace and stability and as a bastion of hope and shining example to other African countries and even beyond; there is therefore, an imperative need to preserve these enviable accolades, which rest on the fortress of the Ghanaian hospitality.
The miserable and catastrophic endings of former leaders like Charles Taylor of Liberia, Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya, Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d’Ivoire, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, SadamHusein of Iraq, whose covetous attempt to cling onto power against the will of the populace have landed them in the Hague, or prematurely joined their ancestors through appalling means or having become undignified refugees in other countries, must serve as a patent model for the two gentlemen.
Other African leaders, whose name will never be expunge from the statutes of incisive and respected leaders across the globe should be the guiding principle for both President Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that, their desire of seeking to govern the country was not for personal or self-aggrandizement, rather a passion to serve them and judiciously manage the resources of the country to the benefit of the people.
Former Presidents, the likes of Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Abdoulaye Wade and AbdouDiouf of Senegal, Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, Festus Mogae of Botswana and our own former Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor, who peacefully yielded power; in some instances to opposition president-elect, is there for our two gentlemen jostling to rule the country to observe.
If their desire to become President caused the country to slide into anarchy, will there be a country for them to govern? Even if they do not cherish their stay on earth, will the two gentlemen be comfortable leaving in exile in another country under the rule of another President, or, better still, have they thought of life at The Hague?
Both leaders must move away from preaching ‘conditional’ and half-baked peace vows and show clear and unambiguous commitment to it, which will intend widely resonate with their teeming supporters to accept the verdict no matter the outcome.
Several religious organizations, civil society groups, past presidential aspirants and prominent people in the country have all called for the urgent need to give peace a chance; their call must not be seen as mere platform or events talk.
Party supporters must refrain from making hate speeches and must also be ready to give out any member who attempts to destabilize the peace of the country.
The Security Agencies have given their preparedness and outmost assurance to crush any person or group of persons planning to take to violence during and after the verdict. This must strike a chord in our hearts that nobody, no matter your status in society will be left off the hook if he/she dares attempts to take advantage of the situation to misbehave.
The Justices of the Supreme Court have throughout the trial demonstrated why we must repose absolute trust and confidence in their judgment through their fair, objective but firm and resolute stands so far, and we at The Al-Hajj respectful salute them and urge them to carry same demeanor into the final determination of the case on August 29, 2013.
The price of democracy will be difficult to pay if political leaders fail to leave exemplary lives for their people to trace their steps and pass a peaceful and brightening lamp to their political adversaries.
Exactly a week today, the nation will be ready to make another history and The Al-Hajj sincerely and humbly call on all political party supporters to be each other’s keeper and put Ghana First.
God bless our Nation Ghana and make our nation great and strong!