Thursday, 25 July 2013

Importance Of President Mills’ Peace Legacy

A year ago, the whole nation came to a standstill. The land was soaked with unadulterated tears of all well-meaning Ghanaians whose hearts were broken by the demise of a noble, humble and peace-loving President. Indeed the memory of his extra affection for peace turns the tap of tears on any time his name is mentioned. Former President J.A Kufour certainly did not mince words when he described him as one with air of peace around him. He did not only punctuate his speeches with his gospel of peace but his entire lifestyle demonstrated this noble virtue. If there is any time that Prof Mills' message of peace should be relevant for us as a nation, then it is now when Ghanaians are awaiting the Supreme Court verdict on the presidential election petition. Prof Mills' description of peace as a priceless commodity is an understatement. Peace is a sign of development and prosperity, it brings happiness among people. It helps to promotes human rights, democratic norms and values. Peace helps to create the feeling of love, trust, tolerance, and brotherhood among people. Peace is described as the mother of civilisation and war as the demon of destruction. It is a sad fact that for several years now, peace has eluded many nations especially in Africa who instead battle with a wide range of internal conflicts that eventually turn the clock of progress and development backwards. Ghana is not regarded world-wide as a conflict prone country; however, issues about access to land, use of natural resources and sometimes politics amongst others, have occasionally led to levels of conflicts that have tampered with our peace. As much as it is impossible to have a conflict-free society the repercussions of war and other forms of unrest in other parts of the continent should prompt us as a nation to resist any temptation of fuelling conflict into intense violence and brutality.

Prof Atta Mills has paid his dues so well, that any reference to the blood and toil of our fathers in the national pledge cannot exclude his sacrifice. For him, peace is the foundation of every development. If there is any priceless commodity that can be a reference point for paying glowing tribute to this statesman, then it is his message of peace. As we anxiously await the outcome of the Supreme Court verdict, it is very certain that not all of us will be totally satisfied with the outcome. However it is possible for the sake of peace to create an attitude to enable us embrace the verdict regardless of how it may turn out. No nation anywhere can make any meaningful progress in the midst of intense conflicts. Conflict impacts the well-being of a people, reducing quality of life, the capabilities of people to live the kinds of lives they value, and the real choices they have. Today, there are several refugees and internally displaced persons resulting from conflicts in Africa. To quote President Mills ‘when you watch the television and you see displaced people from war torn countries carrying their bags and leaving their countries, do we ponder to ask what are in their bags and where they are going?’. Indeed Prof Mills hit the nail right on the head when he said ‘violence never puts food on anybody’s table and in fact never constructs any road. As a people, we need to revive the Ghanaian spirit of brotherliness and peace loving and adopt the strategy of accommodating and negotiation when we simply cannot agree on any issue. The perfect tribute we can give to the memory of the late Prof John Evans Atta Mills is to endeavour to stay together in peace and unity after the Supreme Court verdict and beyond.


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