I always love to reminisce these words of wisdom and truth that Martin Luther King, 1964 peace Nobel Prize winner, once wrote in distinguishing the negative peace, being the absence of tension, and the positive peace, being the presence of justice. It is clear to me that the political atmosphere that resulted from Ghana's electoral process was nothing but tensed.
Yet, Ghana went through this turmoil and remained uninjured. And if this may be insignificant to some people, it must however be stated and pointed out. For not only have we guaranteed negative peace, but even more, positive peace is been established through the decision of one man and his party.
This article may seem very presumptuous, but perhaps would it be relevant to look around us. A country's socio-economic development depends on its political stability. Peace is the key to political stability. The absence of peace on the contrary gives way to political disturbances that many time end into massive blood shed, especially in our African countries.
No one can argue about the recent political crises that aroused in Ivory Coast, a neighbor country. The former president Gbagbo and the current President Ouattara could not compromise as they were entrenched in their own views. As a result, many Ivorians perished under their political battle.
Legal practitioner Nana Asante Bediatuo claimed that about 99.9% of the electoral irregularities identified by the New Patriotic Party, occurred in the strongholds of the NDC and President John Mahama. If, as every statistics, this statement could be contested, it still suggests an important element: There were irregularities that could have been the catalyst of an Ivorian political crisis.
And if that has not been the case, it is surely because unlike Ivory Coast, some protagonists have decided to act differently. In tensed situations like these, tireless efforts to find peaceful political solution demands special sacrificial consensus. It seems like what many African countries failed to do, Ghana was able to make that sacrificial step.
The endemic political violence in most African countries is often said to be the fault of political indoctrination by self ambitious politicians. It is quite evident that most of the causes of tribal wars and political uprisings in many African countries stem from one man’s decision.
The bible declares that through one man (Adam) sin affected humanity. And through one man (Jesus), salvation was for all humanity.
The same way, through the political ambition of one African leader, many Africans have been forced to seek asylum under a very deplorable condition or have simply died through the ruthless weapons of civil war. I must say that if with democracy politics is now conducted by the masses, the decision of one man still leads the fate of a nation in one way or the other.
In this respect, I would consider this as an act of gratefulness if the whole nation of Ghana, the African continent, and the entire world would recognize the sage decision taken by the Leader of the NPP just to follow the legal process in order to defend his arguments with regards to the results given by the electoral commission.
In the same line as Dr.Martin Luther King, a former peace Nobel prize winner, Nana Akufo-Addo has not only established the negative peace with avoiding an ever-growing tension, but his decision served the way of positive peace. Instead of going for the ways of weaponry, he has marked a difference in this generation of African leaders through the choice of justice.
Too many times do we give attention to the deeds of leaders that have decided to hang on power in spite of civil casualties. But, may I suggest that Ghana has escaped Ivory Coast's political history that caused the death of thousands of people. In this respect, perhaps should we give more credit to leaders like Nana Akufo-Addo who choose a path that avoids civil war.
It is true that it is a pre requisite of democracy that a leader should contest any electoral results in a democratic manner through legal procedure. However, regarding the context of African politics, a continent where for too long have we dealt with what I consider as a dysfunctional pathology (or deadly pattern), Nana Akufo-Addo's initiative is of rare value.
The leader of NPP has shown an outstanding commitment to Ghana's political stability.
Ghanians everywhere can share the same view of concern of the way the leader handled the whole political issue. Ghana's approach in electoral consensus is a great response to most African nation's democratic process. An example for others to ensure peace and security in other African countries.
If many African politicians triggered blood in their own land, this man brought about redemption when the electoral process was not conducive for the preservation of peace. Mr. Nana Akufo-Addo ought to be considered as a peacekeeper of Ghana’s political stability. His maturity in the electoral process has become a gateway and a democratic light for the continent of Africa.
I believe this award reflects an universal acceptance and embraces a high level of peaceful political concept in African's electoral and democratic process. I therefore call upon those who are supposed to be the custodians of peacekeeping actions to honor the NPP leader's choice for democracy, peace and justice.
I firstly appeal to the Norwegian Peace Nobel Committee who is responsible for the selection of eligible candidates and the choice of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to consider Nana Akufo-Addo for the courage taken not to contest the results of the 2012 presidential election through violence but rather in a legal channel just to avoid blood shed on the precious soil of Ghana. Furthermore, this request also refers to the United nations and other accredited peaceful organisations to pay particular attention to this award that will encourage other African political leaders to follow the same path in case of electoral dispute.
God Bless Africa, God Bless Ghana, God Bless Nana Akufo-Addo and God Bless all Political Leaders.
Pastor Joejo Dadzie (Founder Christ Reformed Evangelical Church Strasbourg France)