Make Room For Jaw-Jaw

by 29/09/2012 15:08:00 0 comments 870 Views

In 1992, Ghana adopted a new pathway to development and governance by promulgating the Fourth Republican Constitution that focuses on the participatory approach to the decision-making process.

This system of governance hinges on various variables, including peaceful co-existence, tolerance, free speech, political party activities and participation.

Consequently, dissent is indispensable in such an endeavour such that the Akan adage ‘Ti koro enko egyina,’ literally meaning ‘’Two heads are better than one’’ amply comes to play. It has also been said that even the tooth and tongue do quarrel although they are supposed to complement each other.

Truth is bitter and very hard to take, for which reason very assertive people and those who speak their minds are labelled and called various names. As a result of this many people have been surrounded by sycophants who thrive on what will only please the ears of those they are supposed to advise.

Fact is that most often these ‘masters’ also want to hear what is pleasing to their ears. Situations of this nature do not augur well for any meaningful social discourse and national development.

Many things have happened during our democratic process and polarisation seems to be gaining room. People who speak their minds are labelled as being against the system or anti-government although it is widely acknowledged that all hands must be on deck to attain progress in our society.

The clergy is one group of people whose advice is taken seriously and once they speak, whatever national issue that seem to be boiling abates.

However, our country has become so polarised that even the clergy have been tagged to belong to one party or the other when, in fact, they are supposed to be non partisan.

The DAILY GRAPHIC, therefore, agrees with the call by the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, to Ghanaians to stop labelling the clergy as partisan and create room for tolerance of divergent opinions.

The man of God was right when he rightly pointed out that such tagging of the clergy was not in the national interest and called for political tolerance among Ghanaians.

We believe that denigrating the clergy and civil society groups does not augur well for our country because history tells us that the clergy had been stating their views on national issues before and after the country gained independence. This is not a new phenomenon for which they should be chastised.

As Rev. Prof Asante said, dissent is indispensable even within the same political party, which, we think is the best thing for any democratic exercise.

The DAILY GRAPHIC wishes to call on all Ghanaians to refrain from this practice and together let us all continue to nurture our fledgling democracy, which is gradually becoming a model in Africa.

On that score, the DAILY GRAPHIC wants to acknowledge President John Mahama's apology to the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) following the flak it received for expressing its view on the creation of 45-additional constituency but DAILY GRAPHIC expects that everybody would be tolerant of divergent views.

Time and again, the role of the media in maintaining peaceful co-existence, especially as the country approaches the December election, has been raised.

Just recently concerns were raised about the need to loathe hate speech.

The fact that one does not agree with the statement or position taken by another person on an issue should not create room for name calling and discontent.

We are all one people with a common destiny and there is the need for us as a country to recognise and always appreciate this fact.

Again, we need to give respect to each other’s views, however, unpalatable that might be.

The DAILY GRAPHIC shudders to say that any democracy that does not create room for tolerance, give-and- take and dissent, will not thrive and endure but be a model of authoritarian or one party rule.