Statesman Leader: The EC should heed Otumfuo’s wise counsel, for the good of Ghana Featured

Eminent personalities such as Otumfuo Osei Tutu II are part of the reason why Ghana is still alive and kicking.

Working together with our religious leaders, including the Christian Council, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and other figures from the Muslim and Christian fraternities, he has been a beacon of hope as the political discourse has been overwhelmed by voices of doom and gloom.

As Christmas beckons, imposing on us a responsibility to be each other’s keeper and remain one Ghanaian family, it is interesting how we remain divided over a referendum which is required to enhance governance and facilitate development.

It is even more worrying that it is happening at a time when some sections of the population and certain political groups are advocating a breakaway from Ghana, as if this alone would offer the “rebels” security and development.

Spare the rod and …

There is also some agitation about vigilantism. We have gone on the record to register our agreement that those who perpetrate it must be exposed and corrected with the rod, in the same manner as we agree about fighting corruption and waste, poor sanitation and drudgery in vulnerable communities.

And yet, somehow, the needless crescendo of noisemaking appears to be unceasing, as if mere noise were a barometer of our readiness and commitment to govern as political parties.

Royal intervention

That is why a royal intervention at this time by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, ought to be taken seriously by all the political parties and their wings at all levels.

His timely call on the chair of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, and her deputies to be impartial in executing their constitutional mandate shows his wisdom as a king. All Ghanaians should be grateful to him for his willingness to step in and restrain the excesses of our body politic at this particular moment.

Unfortunately, in Ghana, on any occasion when traditional leaders have spoken, we have had incidents in which more malleable individuals have been pushed to soften the impact of their interventions for reasons of political convenience. We have preferred to muddle along, rather than look at issues through the lens of patriotism.

Inward-looking

With just a year to go to the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, we believe the word of caution by the Asantehene offers a useful opportunity to look inwards before the polls and resolve to make ourselves part of a positive history for Ghana rather than a bleak future.

We expect all political stakeholders to show keen interest in Otumfuo’s advice and help the EC to carry out its mandate in a manner that will be seen to be fair to all.

The king offered the advice to an audience of leading lights who span various callings and professions.

It reminded us that although we need the co-operation of our professionals to restore Ghana’s image as the gateway to Africa, we also need to create, in the words of the eminent king, peace and order, regardless of our political colours. Peace and order remain the social and political pillars that will help us attain our development goals.

No favours due

It was particularly refreshing for Otumfuo to single out the EC as the vehicle by which we can create effective systems to ensure that peace and order will prevail before, during and after next year’s elections.

In praising Otumfuo, we wish also to remind the Commissioners of the vein in which the eminent king cast his advice; and that is, while “we can never get away from the fact that there will always be one appointing political authority, the appointee [the EC] is under no obligation to do any favours to the appointing authority”.

We at the Daily Statesman believe that had this wise counsel been heeded to latterly, we would have saved ourselves the Election 2012 Petition and the nightmares it visited on Ghana, including foisting on us a government which showed clearly that it was in power to “kill, steal and destroy”.





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