Ghana And The Africa Peace Prize Award
COMMENTARY ON THE CHOICE OF GHANA FOR THE AFRICA PEACE PRIZE AWARD
A number of factors might have been considered in the decision to name Ghana as winners of this year's Africa Peace Prize. The award is conferred on individuals, institutions and countries in recognition of their efforts to peace and for their pursuit of peaceful resolution of conflicts and reconciliation. The South Africa based Africa Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, ACORD, Administrations of the award did a yeoman's job in selecting Ghana for the coveted prize considering the niche the country has carved for itself as a major contributor to world peace through its peace keeping efforts. Peace has become an essential commodity on the continent with wars and rumours of war raging all over. Even though Ghana has been an oasis of peace for quite some time now recent clashes and ethnic conflicts leading to loss of lives and several injuries is a course for concern. Paradoxically, the day Ghana was announced winner of the Africa Peace Prize was the day violent ethnic clashes erupted between Fantes in Ekumfi Narkwa and Ewes of Narkwa Awuna claiming three lives. Just two days ago a chieftaincy clash in Tishigu in the Northern Region claimed a life. Mention could also be made of ethnic conflicts between Kussasis and Mamprusis in Bawku, the Abudu-Andani Chieftaincy conflict leading to the callous murder of the paramount chief of Yendi, Ya Na Yakubu Andani, the Nawouris and Kokombas clashes at Kpassa and that between Kokomba and Bimoba at Nakpanduri.
The list is endless, but suffice it to say, peace is priceless and without peace there can be no development. People choose to take the law into their hands when they feel they cannot get equity before the law courts. When there is no equilibrium of powers, there cannot be peace. This calls for cooperation among the various organs of government as well as the people. We need to dialogue to achieve peace. Renowned musician the late Robert Nesta Marley sang in one of his songs that until the philosophy which makes one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently abandoned there will always be war. Bob Marley again in his wisdom said until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard, to race peace will be an illusion. It is about time we conscientise the youth to channel their exuberance to productive ventures instead of allowing themselves to be used as war machines. Most youth allow themselves to be engaged for ethnic, religious and political extremism simply because they are jobless. This makes it imperative for government to take another look at the economy and for that matter job creation.
The choice of Ghana for honours in the Africa Peace Prize could not have come at a better time than now as it will give Ghanaians the encouragement to work hard towards peace. With election 2012 approaching, schemes and strategies need to be put in place to educate the people on the disastrous effect of war. The Information Service Department and the Television Station must draw up programmes to show scenes of war and their effect on countries that have experienced them.The aftermath of the war has deprived these countries of the needed peaceful environment to enhance growth and development. With the conferment of the Africa Peace Prize on Ghana, Africa and the International Community at large would be keenly watching events in the country more especially, as another by election lurks around in Wulensi in the Northern Region. With the successful transition from one administration to the other in two different occasions we definitely cannot disappoint. The National Peace Council definitely has an onerous responsibility to bring the various political actors together to see the need to resort to dialogue instead of resorting to violence in the event of any disagreement for like it is said, it is better to jaw-jaw then to war-war. The Africa Peace Prize is valuable and we must cherish it. As we wait fervently for November for the eventual presentation ceremony, it is incumbent on all to desist from acts that are likely to disturb the peace. In the event of war, innocent blood is shed and people are made to carry their luggage to undefined destinations. We definitely do not need war but peace. Let us show love to one another and extend hands of friendship to even people who hate us. Through that we will be giving meaning to the Africa Peace Prize. It’s now or never.
BY: JUSTICE MINGLE, A JOURNALIST.