“I believe that personal freedom is the true test of democracy…”
KOFI ABREFA BUSIA
“If you are emotionally attached to your tribe, religion or political leaning to the point that truth and justice become secondary considerations, your education is useless, your exposure is useless. If you cannot reason beyond petty sentiments, you are a liability to mankind.”
DR. CHUBA WILBERFORCE OKADIGBO OF NIGERIA.
W-H-A-A-T! No! No! No! Pliny, the Elder, a Roman historian must have been right when he quoted Aristotle in ‘Historia Naturalis’ thus” Ex Africa semper a liquid novi” (Out of Africa, always something new…)
You could hardly believe your eyes and ears that at this period of Ghana’s political life, with a President brewed in the best traditions of democracy, we would be seeing what we saw in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by election. There are more questions than answers. Which people ‘stormed’ the residence (or ‘warehouse’) of the NDC candidate, Delali Brempong? Investigations? Armed men, hooded? What intelligence report did they have prior to the infiltration of the privacy of the NDC candidate? The NDC candidate held hostage? Without this violence, wouldn’t Lydia Alhassan Agyaarko have won anyway?
Security should not take very good care of NPP members only; security should take very good care of the opposition (NDC) members too. And why should a peace officer, so called, harass Sam George, a sitting MP – in spite of his protestations. What training did the peace officer have?
Do we believe in the rule of law? What is rule of law? It is simply the authority and influence of law in society, most importantly, when seen as a constraint on individual and institutional behaviour. Under this principle, all the members of the society are considered equal before the law. John Locke postulates that ‘freedom’ in a society means the subject is free from governmental and private restrictions.
Albert Venn Dicey, the British (Whig) jurist receptive of Jeremy Bentham’s brand of individualist liberalism, clawed back to Aristotelian principle: “It is more proper that law should govern than anyone of its citizens.” No one should see himself to be above the law, and there should be equity and equality to all citizens. The law must thus have ‘generality’, ‘equality’ and ‘certainty.’ The law should protect democracy and individual rights.
We have heard NPP die – hard making references to Chereponi, Atiwa, Talensi, and other similar by –elections, and denigrating the NDC – led ones and pontificating on theirs. Will it be fair to do this? We cannot justify today’s bad acts on the premise that the actors have changed. Let us look inwardly, and ask ourselves how would we have reacted if the pendulum had changed?
After successful restoration of peace in Yendi, the whole country thought we had achieved a great feat and we were quick to congratulate one another for the peaceful march, touting ourselves as a beacon of democracy, with Abudani Akufo Addo as the scion of an influential Danquah – Busia – Dombo democratic family.
And ex-President John Mahama, naturally disturbed, came out blurting: “… we are not going to joke in 2020, and I’m sounding a warning to the NPP – we are going to match them boot for boot … NDC has revolutionary roots and when it comes to unleashing violence nobody can beat us …” He sought to demonstrate that they too have got ‘two balls’ in their groins. After all, if they fought and died, ‘all die be die’, they would mimic the President. Then, they could also say “…even at (?) we showed them something small”, Who will buy this argument now?
So, the 2020 elections are going to be a contest of violence, not ideas; a contest of physical strength, vying infrastructural development; a contest of moral uprightness, against moral turpitude…
We are ashamed of even repeating the speech by the former President. If somebody else had made such a pronouncement, that person could be pardoned: BUT for someone on whom the nation has bestowed a lot of niceties : free education, Member of Parliament of Bole, Minister of Communications, Vice President to the late John Evans Atta Mills, and President of the Republic of Ghana, to speak thus…? Or does he want to plunge this country into violence, so that other Ghanaians will not have the chance to develop even an iota of their God – given talents!
Does ‘matching NPP boot for boot’ imply winning voters to the NDC in the same way as NPP will do? Or does it imply winning the elections by fair or foul means? Or does it mean it will be a head – to head race or a neck and neck race which will be too close to call?
Or is it in reference to the Mosaic construct; ‘an eye for an eye?’ ‘An eye for an eye’ goes with ‘a tooth for a tooth’ or a ‘limb for a limb’ the ‘lex talionis’ (the law of retaliation).Hammurabi in the 17th century B.C. penned the ‘Code of Hammurabi’ in which were prescribed fitting counter punishments, for example: death penalty for anyone who put another into danger by false accusation; death penalty for the daughter of a man who caused the death of another man’s daughter. Of course, Mahatma Gandhi thought about these things and said; “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind”.
So, the NDC now accepts that they have ‘revolutionary roots’…. Ei, are we being reminded of what happened in the so – called revolutionary era? People whipped, tortured, killed for nothing tangible; women stripped naked and made to ‘ sɔ kanea, dum no; Kwame Awuah, Esq does not relish the return of the revolutionary ‘thing’ nor a repeat of the pre-independence struggle; wawe, dzi wawe; ablodee, gbadzaa, who would relish this? He had seen worse things before.
The enlightened poor would take their children away from the up-and – coming upsurge of violence – the pogrom – just as the perpetrators will keep theirs in far – away Dubai, London, New York…..Let us save this country for our children and our children’s children, Don’t let it be said that we contributed to the fall of this country. Rather, let it be said of our generation that we contributed to the rise and rise of modern day Ghana.
AFRICANUS OWUSU ANSAH