Ghana is not regarded as a conflict nation, however issues about access to land, use of natural resources, appointment and elevation to chieftaincy among others, have often led to levels of conflicts nation-wide. Not too long ago, Ghana placed sixth in Africa in the Global Peace Index and also placed 54th worldwide out of 162 countries sampled.
This is indicative of the relative peace in Ghana. Recent happenings are however casting shadows on the much talked about peace loving culture of the Ghanaian.
Fresh on our minds are the recent conflicts in some parts of Upper West and Volta Regions, activities of vigilante groups and very recently the torture and gruesome murder of theArmy officer at DenkyiraObuase in the Central Region.
It is quite clear that we sometimes trivialise the peace we have as a nation and forget about the need to preciously safeguard it. As Ghanaians we have made a mark by scaling up tolerance and peace during general elections. It will however serve our interest if we give peace a chance even beyond general elections to make it part of our very lives.
The importance of peace for development cannot be overemphasised. All the activities of the country run smoothly in an atmosphere of peace.
Peace is a sign of development and prosperity, it brings happiness among people as well as help to promote human rights, democratic norms and values. The recent display of wickedness that prompted some Ghanaians to torture and murder their fellow Ghanaian speak volumes of how we sometimes fail to abide by this peace loving culture.
A time has come for us to re-ignite this culture from the very foundation in our schools, homes, communities and society at large. if we inculcate this culture of peace into the minds of our children from the very day they are born they will grow with it and hate any form of violence.
Sustainable Development Goal 16 seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth and often resulting in long standing grievances that can last for generations. If there is ever any time that the peace trumpet ought to be sounded time and time again, it is now. Peace is indeed a priceless commodity. Peace helps to create the feeling of love, trust and tolerance among people.
The Peace Council, the National Commission for Civic Education among others did a yeoman’s work during the election to secure our peace. They should however not restrict their activities to peaceful elections alone especially at a time that some Ghanaians have demonstrated their total disregard for peace.
It is essential traditional rulers will take it upon themselves to instil the culture of peace in their subjects. They let them understand that the days when bravery was demonstrated through wars and other social unrests are over. Peace is the mother of development and violence the demon of destruction.Regardless of any circumstance peace should not be exchanged for anything.
BY: DAVID OWUSU-AMOAH,CULTURAL JOURNALIST & HEAD OF RESEARCH , INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT