Ghanaians In London Celebrate Peace Ahead Of December Elections

Peace, is one word that seems to dominate most conversations among majority of Ghanaians in the Diaspora. This is because Ghanaians go to the polls in December to either maintain the current administration or elect a new administration but the utterances of leaders of the major political parties, do not seem to have calmed the nerves of ordinary Ghanaians who are concerned with the lives of loved ones and their properties back home. Majority of Ghanaians have turned to their creator, the Almighty God, in prayers as December approaches. Various religious activities are being organised by Ghanaian social groups across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, all aimed at encouraging Ghanaians to pray for peace during the coming elections. One such activity dubbed “Ghana for Peace Concert”, organised by Nana Kwame Osei-Tutu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Singout Media, was held at the Dominion Centre here in London to pray for peace in Ghana during and after this year’s election through gospel music. In a speech, which traced the history of Gold Coast right from the days of colonialism to today, His Excellency Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland said, events leading up to the signing of the Bond of 1844 with the British, showed the country’s love for peace. Prof. Danso-Boafo said while other countries had fought bloody wars to gain independence from their colonial masters, Gold Coast went about demanding independence peacefully without shedding blood. He said even the unfortunate incident around the Osu Castle, that led to the shooting of Sergeant Adjetey and his comrades, did not result in war and the country maintained her peace. The arrest and imprisonment of the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, did not result in war because his supporters did not fight, Prof, Danso-Boafo said. When the British accepted to grant independence to the Gold Coast and brought all the regions together to form one country, despite the fact that there were others who opposed the decision and wanted a federal state, Ghanaians did not fight. In 1960, when the late Dr. J. B. Danquah, of the United Party (UP) contested Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’ Convention Peoples Party (CPP) and lost and Dr. Nkrumah became the first President of Ghana, Ghanaians did not go to war. Prof. Danso-Boafo said even when Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in 1966 by the late Col. Kotoka’s National Liberation Council (NLC), his supporters did not fight, just as the overthrow of Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia’s Progress Party (PP), by then Col. Kutu Acheampong’s National Redemption Council (NRC), Ghana did not fight. When Acheampong’s Supreme Military Council was replaced by Gen. Akuffo’s Supreme Military Council and the latter, himself, kicked out of office and executed together with Gen. Afrifa and five others by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) led by Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings, the country did not engage in warfare. Two years after handing over power to Dr. Hilla Limann’s People’s National Party (PNP), Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings again overthrew the Limann administration and formed the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) which ruled until 1992 when the country reverted to civilian rule, the country did not fight despite all the bickering that went on in those days. In 1992, members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) boycotted the Presidential elections, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was declared winner and ruled for eight years, nobody fought another and there was peace. The NPP won elections in 2000, despite the apprehension that the Rawlings administration would not hand over, the Rawlings led NDC handed over power peacefully and for eight years, the NPP ruled until it lost the 2008 elections to the Atta Mills led NDC, again there was no war and peace prevailed.“It is this reason that I confidently assure Ghanaians that the current administration would do everything possible to make this year’s election the most transparent, free and fair elections Ghana has ever had so far”, the High Commissioner said. He said registration of voters has successfully been completed and all is set for the December elections and despite the acrimonies on the air waves, he was sure peace will prevail at the end of the day and there will be no war. As a country, Prof. Danso-Boafo said, we have made mistakes but each time we have risen up and made amends as mature people. Ghana is the only country we have, he emphasised, and we have to continue building it as there is a lot other African countries are learning from Ghanaians. Other speakers, including the Mayor of Northampton, also spoke at the concert extolling Ghana’s peace credentials while gospel artistes graced the occasion with music.