Bawku Needs “Peace Walk”

Not too long ago, Ghana was faced with another test of time to prove our level of democracy, when six polling stations in Akwatia Constituency, in the Eastern region, were schedule for a re-run of Parliamentary elections. This is because, the 2008 Parliamentary election in the Akwatia constituency, was suspended in six polling stations, following an outbreak of violence in which ballot boxes in these stations were tampered with, by an irate gang of party supporters. This made it impossible for the Electoral Commission (EC) to declare the final parliamentary results for the Akwatia Constituency. As a result, the matter was taken to court for the law to take its course, and after a lengthy court process, between the EC and the two main political parties (the NPP and NDC), the Supreme Court, in July 2009, directed the EC to re-run polls on August 18, 2009 for the affected polling stations in the constituency. The stress and tension the re-run brought to us was unbearable. There were reports of gunshots, spilling of blood, burning of vehicles, blocking of streets, amidst counter accusations from both parties, and not even the presence of the security brought the situation under control. But, at the time that all hope for peace seems to have been thrown to the dogs, the miracle happened. Surprisingly and interestingly, the solution was not far-fetched. It only took a simple UNITY PEACE WALK on the streets from leaders from both sides of the feud to tell their supporters to surrender their weapons. And as if heaven opened its flood gate of peace to rain, all the troubles in Akwatia stopped. So that brings me to my issue, what is preventing Kusasis and Mamprusis involved in the Bawku conflict from embarking on this same UNITY PEACE WALK, now that all attempts by both past and present governments to control the situation has proved futile. At least, Akwatia has given us a case study and instead of trying it, all we hear from the opinion leaders is apportioning of blame to each other on an ancient grudge they came to meet. If no one is ready to take up the task, then I throw the challenge to the National Peace Council and the National Commission for Civic Education to do this. It might not cost as much as what has been spent already.