Unity Must Live On After Celebrations

Last year, the whole nation came to a standstill when the death of President J.E.A. Mills was announced. Every Ghanaian, no matter his or her political affiliation, was hit by the death of our President and went further to join millions across the country to give him a fitting burial. A year on and every citizen of the land continues to extol the virtues of the late President as a man who stood for peace and unity. He was also a humble, honest and a selfless statesman. When some of our legislators had opportunity to speak about the late President Mills last Friday, all of them described him in glowing terms. We recall the mood of the nation last year when President Mills passed on in the heat of preparations towards the 2012 elections. At the time, the political temperature was very high with the use of insulting and intemperate language on the platforms, the airwaves, as well as in the newspapers. But good reason prevailed during the period of the mourning, as political opponents sang the same hymns from the same hymn books as if they were not the same Ghanaians who, a few days earlier, had been at each other’s throat. The atmosphere was so salubrious and we demonstrated to the rest of the world that in spite of our political differences, we are one people in one nation with a common and great destiny. The unity of purpose that we demonstrated during the funeral of President Mills must have helped a great deal in shaping the 2012 electioneering and elections. Then the leaders of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) decided to contest the results declaring President John Mahama winner of the polls, while some of the teeming supporters of the NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) decided to express their views on the election petition in very provocative terms. Many level-headed Ghanaians became very apprehensive of remarks in the media by supporters of the two parties. Until the Supreme Court judges drew the touchline which nobody had to cross, there was a free-for-all terrain for people to say anything, without thinking of the peace and unity of the country. Even that warning was not deterrent enough, as three persons had to be sanctioned by the judges for crossing the touchline, after which, presto, order prevailed to a very large extent. The Daily Graphic is convinced that Ghanaians will cross the bridge when the verdict is given, to maintain the peace and unity of the country. That is why the Supreme Court verdict that many people dread is just a few days away from the one-year anniversary of the death of President Mills, the man of peace and unity, which brought the whole country together. President Mahama summed up the expectations of all peace-loving Ghanaians when he said, “It is crucial for Ghanaians to continue to live in peace,” stressing that “the peaceful acceptance of the verdict will be the greatest tribute that Ghanaians can pay to the late President Mills”. Court verdicts that do not go in our favour are difficult to accept, but the Daily Graphic believes that in the interest of peace, the protagonists and their teeming supporters will accept the Supreme Court verdict. They actually do not have a choice. If they don’t, posterity and the international community will never forgive them. Let us unite in celebration of late President Mills’ first anniversary and bond further after the Supreme Court verdict.