How polarised Ghana had been over the decades is reflected in the incidents of a dictatorship that afflicted the nation under Kwame Nkrumah as well as military and quasi-military governments that we had to endure till this Fourth Republic.
Even so, the intrigue pervaded, with the two leading parties – New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress – caught in a political rivalry that have further tended to carve the nation cat and mouse into two ethnic and political divides.
Indeed, so sharp has been the rivalry that each election that had confronted the nation had carried with it conflict and violence in language as well as, in some cases, physically.
Unfortunately, that has culminated in lower-rung politicians like foot soldiers and delegates emulating ‘political canker’ and perfecting it to the detriment not only of our political structures but also national constitution.
The dog-fights that characterised our political landscape, particularly from the time of the 2012 Election Petition through the 2020 voter registration exercise into the primaries that resonated with those traits of internal and party-on-party conflicts in which the NDC, particularly, decided to make the nation ungovernable, have been ample testimony of the need to bring Ghana at the centre of our politicking.
Wake up call
That is why the shocking results of the 2020 parliamentary elections, which saw both sides of the political divide locked tight, despite the huge margin between President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, enjoins us all as Ghanaians, first and foremost, and also political stakeholders, to put our recent history of devious intrigues behind us and engage one another at all levels as a family.
Both for the governing NPP and the opposition NDC, the lessons have been relevant, coming against the background of threats to the national sovereignty and peace before during and after her elections.
That is why the decision by Members of Parliament to elect a member of the NDC – Alban Sumana Bagbin – as the Speaker of Parliament, against tradition, practice and convention, should wake us up to the reality that we are all truly one family, instead of rival ethnic and political groupings with selfish interests, with a bounden duty to seek only that which inures to the benefit of Ghana and Ghanaians.
That is where the call by the President, in his inaugural address yesterday, for the key stakeholders in our political decision making space, including himself and Speaker Alban Bagbin, to collaborate and work together in sincerity becomes very critical.
It is all about Ghana and how governance and development issues will be handled for the benefit of the masses.
We are convinced both President Akufo-Addo and Speaker Bagbin, together with all the other relevant stakeholders, will not fail the nation.