Thursday, 19 January 2017
THE LAWLESSNESS IN POLITICAL TRANSITIONS BY RUTH ADJORLOLO
It said that those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past. The December 2016 election has come and gone, with the successful inauguration of Nana Akufo-Addo as the Fifth President of the Fourth Republic. While this success story has received the commendation of the international community, the activities of some people going round seizing State facilities and even brutalising political opponent is denting Ghana's enviable democratic credentials. In spite of the fact that this lawlessness by party activists occurred in the past and was condemned, its recurrence anytime there is a change in political power democratically requires collective national effort to nip it in the bud. Allowing people to assume they have the power to storm State-owned institutions like the Tema Port and the Passport Office suggest lawlessness to the highest degree. The danger in this phenomenon is the apparent helplessness of the Police Service who are mandated to ensure law and order, especially protecting lives and property.
It is true the police have issued stern warning that they will deal ruthlessly with anyone caught on the wrong side of the law. But to some skeptics, the inability of the police to act decisively and promptly in such cases could be due to the fear of the hierarchy of the service to fall victim to the political leadership of the party in power. They wouldn't want to go against the supporters who voted the politicians to power, therefore, staying off the heat. Though this may sound as allegation against the Police, it looks like the most probable reason or explanation for their seemingly lackadaisical attitude towards this life- threatening behaviour of party foot soldiers. When the politicians promise the youth and errand boys jobs and other privileges, they forget to educate them on how such promises will be delivered. They secretly give the assurance to secure jobs for them in some sensitive State institutions, thereby encouraging such acts of impunity.
As a people, Ghanaians should acknowledge the fact that, there is no need for any excuse in this matter. What civilised citizens want is that, this recurrent transitional ritual of lawlessness by party foot soldiers must stop, before it becomes a major blot on Ghana's democratic practice. The steps to ending it start with no other than politicians, particularly the ruling party. For our democracy to thrive, there should be awareness creation for supporters of the political Parties to know that transition from one Party to another does not call for lawlessness; neither does it mean everything belonging to the state becomes party property. The laws do not cease to work after transition. With more than two decades of constitutional rule, the action and inaction of the political leaders must not be seen to be encouraging such disgraceful behaviour of criminals who operate under the cloak of partisanship to perpetrate violence.
Let us cherish the national peace and work together to entrench democratic governance where the rule of law is supreme.
BY: RUTH ADJORLOLO, A JOURNALIST.